The season in advent - day 23 - Brunt on momentous 2022

Katherine Brunt says England head into a momentous 2022 brimming with confidence, the Northern Diamonds star admitting: “We’ve got a lot of expectation around ourselves, that’s for sure.”

England are bidding for glory on three fronts during the next eight months.

They head to Australia to begin a multi-format Ashes series on January 26, which runs through until February 18.

Brunt and fellow Diamonds Nat Sciver and Lauren Winfield-Hill are in the squad, while Beth Langston has been included in an England A squad which will shadow the seniors for the duration of the tour.

England are bidding to regain the Urn they last held in early 2014.

Immediately afterwards, they head to New Zealand for a one-day World Cup title defence from March 4 to April 3.England are reigning champions after success on home soil in 2017.

Then, from July 29 to August 7, they bid to become inaugural Commonwealth Games champions as that Birmingham event hosts T20 cricket for the first time.

England beat India at home and New Zealand both away and at home this year, and fast bowling all-rounder Brunt said: “We are one of the top three teams in the world and have looked like the number one team in the world at stages this year.

“To win all three of those next year would be unbelievable.

“If we don’t give Australia a real run for their money and made the finals in the other two competitions, I would be very surprised.

“It’s all about people being in form at the right time and a bit of luck.

“For instance, look at Danni Wyatt. She wasn’t in good form. But then she came back this summer and smashed it.

“It’s about peaking at the right moment.

“We can afford for Danni to be out of form last January in New Zealand, but not in the Ashes because the Australians are too good.”

Brunt, 36, is closing in on 250 international appearances. She is 13 away and could feasibly reach that milestone come the end of the World Cup.

The Yorkshire legend also passed 300 international wickets - she has 301 - with 4-22 in her final international of the home summer against New Zealand at Leicester in September.

“It’s very exciting, but also quite terrifying,” she said.

“The summer just gone was so full on, and a lot of us were thinking how we’d get through it physically and mentally, especially with all the (Covid) restrictions we’ve got at the moment.

“It was fun at times, but also so hard.

“If you think about this next year, we have a three-and-a-half month stint away from home at the start, which none of us have ever done before.

“You can’t possibly predict how that will be.

“But what a great year it will be.

“An Ashes, a World Cup and the Commonwealth Games and year two of the Hundred as well. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of all of that!

“The terrifying thing is getting through it fit and healthy, being able to be a part of it all.”


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