By Rob Barnett
Heather Knight has ended the Women’s Ashes with a torn hamstring but, as player of the series in the victorious team, says she would have taken that combination before the rubber.
The sole player to hit 300 runs, Knight has made a vital contribution in England’s 12 points to four win that regained the urn in the new multi-format contest.
The 22-year-old’s key score was a rearguard, first-innings 157 in the only Test. Had the hosts not avoided defeat at Wormsley, an 8-0 deficit after losing the first one-day international would surely have been insurmountable?
As it was, they responded to the Lord’s setback with five straight wins to also lay down a marker for the return series this winter.
Speaking exclusively to ecb.co.uk, Knight, who suffered the injury as she was dismissed yesterday at the Emirates Durham ICG in the last of three Twenty20 internationals, admitted: “If you’d given it to me at the start of the series, player of the series, win the Ashes and I’d torn my hamstring, I probably would have taken it. So I’m really chuffed.
“It’s been brilliant. I think we had contributions from everyone all down the squad and it’s been a really good series. They’re the world champions, Twenty20, 50-over. We had a really hard winter. To come back, it’s just made it all the sweeter,” she added.
“I’ve really enjoyed the new format. It’s made every game really important. To come away as winners and winning the way we did is just amazing.”
Knight’s Test ton, made from the top of the order, allied to the Lord’s loss, saw her promoted to open later in the rubber.
She responded with a solid 31 in the first of two ODIs at the BrightonandHoveJobs.com County Ground and a top score of 69 in the second there.
“I started the series well in the Test match,” she said. “Then to get moved up the order in the ODIs is somewhere I wanted to bat for a while now so it’s been really good.”
As of her 338-ball vigil in just her second Test, she added: “I haven’t really had a chance to really reflect on it, but now we’ve won the series I get the chance to look back and look back happily as part of a winning series.”