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Thanks for the messages

Posted in England Women

Imogen Gaunt

Imogen Gaunt

On Tuesday we secured our place in the World Cup Final by beating the West Indies by 146 runs. It will be the first time we have been in a World Cup Final since 1993 and is a massive achievement for all the girls.

For me this meant an unrelenting list of interview requests which is phenomenal and showed that all the hundreds of people I have contacted over the past four years have been taking notice and are cottoning on to how good these players are.

First up were rights holders Sky Sports followed by Sky Sports News and then Sky News. We also fitted in BBC, various national newspapers as well as the Loughborough Echo, the Leicestershire Mercury and other regional press. I’m always keen to continue to provide for the regional press as they cover us year in, year out, so it’s great to reward them when things are going well.

By 9.30pm the interviews were just about finished and England had just woken up. Cue 52 more interview requests for the players. This was brilliant even if it did mean a 2am finish for me - a 20-hour day no less! We have managed to fulfil every single one of those requests so hopefully the players and the game are now getting the profile they deserve.

Over the past few days I have had so many messages of good luck to pass onto the squad which has been just brilliant. It’s great to see that people back home are taking an interest and really getting behind us before Sunday. Lots of my friends (who know I’m here, but don’t really follow the cricket) have heard the scores and are emailing, texting and Facebooking me to let me know and wish us well, which is awesome. Even my Dad, who’s in Siberia, has been keeping up to date with how it’s all going and has been sending pep talks via text! All greatly received!

On Wednesday night after training we had a team meeting and Clare Connor and I gave a brief media session to the players in preparation for what could be the biggest week of their lives.

This was made slightly amusing by the fact that Caroline Atkins and I had swapped clothes for the evening as people keep getting us mixed up! I think I’ve got the better end of the deal there - an opening international bat vs a media manager?! While I dressed Shaggy, as she’s affectionately known, in a lovely joules skirt with a white vest top, cardi and white flip-flops, she dressed me in her baggy jeans, a salmon pink polo shirt (salmon is not my colour!) and my running trainers! Needless to say she got the best straw in the clothing stakes!

When the players all saw me there was a deathly silence as they were all too polite to say anything, until one of them started laughing and then they all did with huge sighs of relief that it wasn’t real. This is no slight whatsoever on Shaggy’s clothes as everyone kept telling me - they just look a lot better on her! Caroline, on the other hand, got a lot of compliments and even managed to get served at the bar first that evening!

The win over the West Indies and the fact that India had beaten Australia meant that our game against the hosts on Thursday had no relevance on our place in the final. However, we wanted to win. After winning the toss and batting we were all out for 161 and they knocked off the runs in 34 overs. This was so disappointing but, as Lottie keeps saying, we’re in a World Cup Final so we have regrouped and are now looking ahead to the most important game on Sunday.

Despite the loss, the good luck messages still roll in and everyone is still very much behind us which means so much to everyone here.

Today was a rare day off and after my 1am finish this morning I managed a lie-in until 8am. After a quick visit to the gym I started my first round of interviews with Isa Guha and the BBC. That was swiftly followed by Katherine Brunt with various journalists and then I returned to my computer to reply to the emails that had come in overnight.

Whilst here I am still trying to keep up to speed with things back home like our PR and media plans for this year’s Friends Provident Trophy, the ICC World Twenty20, and anything else that needs doing.

Anya and I then headed out to George Street to find some Ugg boots. Mine were for myself and my boyfriend’s sister while Annie’s were for her sister and her brother’s girlfriend.

We eventually found a shop that sold original Uggs after traipsing round hundreds of shops, much to Annie’s annoyance! We rewarded ourselves with pizza for lunch and then a quick stop back to the hotel to catch up on a few more emails and phone calls. This afternoon we headed down to the Aquarium at Darling Harbour following a recommendation after bumping into my colleague Gill Harris in Circular Quay earlier!

It was then a quick dinner before returning to the hotel to do an hour’s worth of interviews with Lottie. Another late night with training tomorrow and then the pre-final press conference and photo shoot at the SCG with Lottie again.

She’s going to be extremely busy over the next few days!