Ing v New Zealand, Commonwealth Games, 2022

Ing v New Zealand, Commonwealth Games, 2022

You wouldn’t necessarily know this by watching her rip opposing players’ poles off the ground in true vintage Brunt style. But with the specter of retirement looming larger as England nears their goal of winning a Commonwealth Games medal at home, this isn’t exactly old Brunt.

Brunt hasn’t set a date for his retirement, at least publicly. But, after he said he played his last test during the Ashes in January, he recently told ESPNcricinfo that, whether he devotes time to his international career after the Commonwealth Games or rushes to next year’s T20 World Cup. year, the end would be “very soon”.

“Everyone has ups and downs,” said Brunt, again briefly touching on the hardships he faced as he struggled with his action while touring England in Australia and then in New Zealand for the ODI World Cup.

“I’ve had a lot of questions for myself and have been working exceptionally hard in the last three months before this tournament. So it’s fun because I feel good, I’m playing well and it’s hard to walk away from things like that. So yeah, a lot of things are going on in the my head right now. “

He was speaking after claiming two wickets for just two runs in his first two overs to subdue New Zealand as they only recorded 71 out of 9 out of 20 overs during the last group match. England won by seven wickets with 50 reserve balls to secure first place in Group B and avoid favored Australia in the semi-finals. New Zealand will face Group A leaders Australia in Saturday’s second semi-final, which will be played in the evening at UK time, after England face India in the daytime match.

Brunt has enjoyed an excellent tournament so far. He finished Thursday night’s game with 2 out of 4 out of three overs, while taking 1 out of 16 and scored an unbeaten 38 out of 23 balls in a 26-run win against South Africa and claimed 1 in 8 out of three over while England beat Sri Lanka by five wickets.

Her fourth ball against New Zealand was a cut that spun Sophie Devine’s leg stump, a ball she added to her arsenal under former England women’s manager Mark Robinson.

“He challenged me to improve as a player,” said Brunt. “He has seen many in their thirties not being able to improve their game at that stage. Either get out or take a step forward.

“It was a challenge and I wanted to prove him wrong, take a step forward, so I earned a couple of balls and that’s my banker, and I pull him out when I need him against who I have to. I’m really happy to have him there. ‘I learned so late in my career. “

Brunt’s eighth delivery was similar but faster and beat the top of Amelia Kerr’s center stump as New Zealand slipped to 10 for 2. So Issy Wong, the fast 20-year-old who represented the next wave of bowler hats in the England took 2 for 10 from her three overs, including tournament top scorer, Suzie Bates, for having New Zealand in grave danger.

Brunt has been full of praise for the likes of Wong and left arm Freya Kemp, who is only 17, as well as Alice Capsey, who is second behind only Bates on the tournament scoreboard. All three young Brits made their international debut in the bilateral series against South Africa just before the Games and tackled the task with ease, appearing to be enjoying the atmosphere of an audience of over 10,000 in Edgbaston.

“I know for a fact that they love it and are not intimidated,” Brunt said. “They are very self-confident people and you cannot play international sport without safety and arrogance in a healthy way.

“They look like boxers, don’t they? They speak well. They say they will never lose, they are the best ever, and that’s the kind of arrogance you have to have because it takes a lot to get out in a crowd like that and put yourself out there in front of thousands of people. I’m glad they have it because I feel it has been a key ingredient for myself in my career. “

Devine, the New Zealand captain, joked that the end of that illustrious career wouldn’t come fast enough.

“To be absolutely honest, me and Suze [Bates] he said we can’t wait for him to retire, “Devine smiled.” He’s been haunting us for 15 and a half years. It is simply outstanding. She defies her age and her skill is incredible, so all credit for still being able to run and play the way she does.

“She’s a really smart player. She’s probably not as fast as she used to be, she’ll be the first to admit it … I hope so, because otherwise she’ll probably send me beamers. But a really smart bowler and lead that team well. huge hole when it retires, which hopefully very soon. “

Valkerie Baynes is a general editor of ESPNcricinfo

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