England all-rounder Nat Sciver says the tour of New Zealand provides a welcome opportunity to “build as a team” towards their World Cup title defence next year. Sciver is acting as captain Heather Knight’s deputy for the tourists, in the absence of injured fast bowler Anya Shrubsole, ahead of three one-day internationals from February 23, with three Twenty20s following from March 3.
“When we heard that a lot of the tournaments that were planned had been postponed it was sort of a strange feeling knowing that you would have to motivate yourself in a different way in terms of your training and stuff,” Sciver said. “For now, the focus is the [New Zealand] series and being up for that. Having one eye on the World Cup will be important as well. I think being able to build as a team and hopefully be peaking by the time the tournament comes back around.”
“It’s been quite tough getting back into the slightly longer format of the game,” she added. “It’s been brilliant to even the chance to come over here and play any cricket really, knowing that some international teams haven’t played yet. Just to have that focus again really, something to motivate you when you are training and doing all the things that can be tough. We are in a great spot at the minute.”
“It is a great chance for someone to have an opportunity that they may not have had before,” she continued. “Natasha Farrant has come back into the squad having missed out over the last few years and showed she has been working really hard while she wasn’t in the squad. Equally it gives a chance for those who have been around to give them a chance to open the bowling.”