Squad strength a boon for England - Hazell

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Danielle Hazell believes England’s strength in depth will prove a significant aid to their hopes of defending the Women’s World Cup in India.

Following warm-up matches against South Africa and New Zealand, England begin their assault on the 50-over tournament on Friday when they take on Sri Lanka in the first of three group games, to be followed by a Super Six phase and the tournament final on February 17.

Hazell impressed in the 13-run loss to New Zealand, returning 5-41, but is well aware that nobody can take their place in the side for granted.

Speaking exclusively to ecb.co.uk, she said: “We’ve got four good spinners (herself, Holly Colvin, Laura Marsh and Danni Wyatt) in our side and we’re all bowling well at the minute so there’s good competition for places.

Danielle Hazell

An enthusiastic Danielle Hazell told ecb.co.uk she cannot wait for England women's World Cup campaign to get under way later this week

“We’re all trying to put our marker out there and really push for the first game. Personally it’s nice to get five wickets under my belt. It’s going to be a competition where you have to bowl well.”

Hazell is encouraged by England’s time in India thus far, which has allowed the team to reacquaint themselves with sub-continental conditions.

“The bowlers are getting overs under their belt and the batters are out there hitting balls. We had a great time (at a training camp) in Poona; we prepared well and now everyone is just chomping at the bit to start,” she added.

“Coming out here the pitches are different to England, so you learn about them, and it’s not this hot in England so it’s about getting used to that and then putting our skills into practice.”

Following months of preparation and focus on the event, Hazell also admits she cannot wait for the World Cup to begin.

“It’s one of the biggest competitions in women’s cricket and we’re all really looking forward to it,” she concluded.

“We’re looking forward to Friday and we’re ready for that. It’s a great place to come and tour, and we really want to get going.”