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Knight ready for Australia challenge

Heather Knight talks to ecb.co.uk at Loughborough during England Women's pre-Ashes training camp

Heather Knight believes victory in the return series in Australia this winter would top England Women's Ashes win from the summer.

The 22-year-old shone in England’s 12-4 success against the Aussies in England, scoring 157 in the drawn Test match at Wormsley that prevented the tourists taking an early six-point lead in the multi-format rubber.

That led her to receive a nomination for Sportswoman of the Year in last night’s awards screened live on Sky Sports and saw huge public interest in the women’s game as a whole.

However, Knight reckons a repeat Down Under of the Ashes triumph would be even sweeter.

“It was a brilliant summer,” she told ecb.co.uk. “I’ve had a bit of time to reflect on it now and it’s kind of sunk in and I’ve moved on to the next thing.

Heather Knight's 157 at Wormsley set the tone for a resounding series victory for England Women in the summer's Ashes“But it was brilliant to be involved in an Ashes series and the support we got from the public, to do well in that series and contribute to a team win.

“I don’t think the scoreline really told the truth, to be honest. I think we’re very close and the games we had over the summer showed that we were very evenly-matched.

“I think it’s going to be a lot harder in their conditions in their back yard. I think it will be an even bigger achievement if we go out and win there.”

Knight is expected to take her place on the flight to Australia, despite having struggled with injury since the final Twenty20 game of the summer series at the Emirates Durham ICG in August.

She suffered a torn hamstring during her dismissal that resulted in her get being carried off the pitch and missing the subsequent the visit to the West Indies.

But after successful rehabilitation work, Knight is confident she is ready for an Ashes tour.

“It was quite a nasty injury I’d recommend to anyone ‘don’t do the splits if you’re not very flexible’,” she said. “It’s been a hard few months. (I’ve spent) a lot of time in the gym and not doing the fun stuff, like hitting balls in the nets.

“It’s been a long road to recovery these last three months or so but hopefully I’ll be fit for the flight to Oz.”

Despite the series coming back-to-back, Knight insists her team-mates cannot wait to get out there.

She added: “It’s going to be hard this winter to go out and defend that urn but it’s (a challenge) I’m looking forward to.

“Australia is brilliant place to tour, it’s a great country. Playing against Australia is the pinnacle for us.

“I’m really looking forward to playing at grounds where I’ve watched teams play as I’ve been growing up.

“It’s come around quickly after the Ashes series this summer but we’re no less up for it and we’re ready to get out there and hopefully win again.”

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