Sophie Ecclestone has urged young England players to ‘support each other’ against Australia, despite being overlooked for the Women’s Ashes series – which begins live on Sky Sports this Thursday.
Australia have held the Ashes since 2015 and have won the last two editions 12-4 on points, while also being the reigning world champions in the game’s 50-over and 20-over formats.
Although he is only 24, Ecclestone will be the oldest player on a young England bowling team which includes Issy Wong, Lauren Bell and Lauren Filer.
Seam Bowler Filer, 22, has been a regular in the Western Storm side for the past few seasons and won his first full call-up.
Asked on Sky Sports News what advice she would give to her young team-mates, Ecclestone said: “Enjoy it. Enjoy the challenge. If you get a wicket, celebrate it hard and support yourself.”
Stick to the basics
Record crowds are expected to descend on Trent Bridge for the Women’s Ashes Test match on Thursday – with more than 11,000 tickets already sold.
Ecclestone knows that red ball cricket requires a different mindset than limited formats and wants to keep things simple.
“I just have to do my basics longer. For me, it’s making sure I don’t get bored before the batter does. Every time Heather [Knight] walks up to me, she always says “throw your best ball, throw your best ball”. So keep it simple and do the basics for longer,” she explained.
“Heather will give me the ball in pressure situations. Sometimes I will get frustrated when I can’t do what she wants, but I like being in pressure situations and hopefully I can take wickets for her. “
Ecclestone: England are neglected
Tammy Beaumont says England will try to play aggressively but admits they are the underdogs, which Ecclestone agrees.
“The Ashes are as exciting as ever. Australia are a great team and a force to be reckoned with. I think we go there as underdogs so it’s really exciting for us to be fighting against them.
“It’s always a big battle when we play against them. They are the best team in the world for a reason, they have great players but hopefully we can challenge them.”
Women’s Ashes Schedule (All Matches Live On sky sports)
- Match test (Trent Bridge) – Thursday June 22 – Monday June 26 (start 11am)
- First international T20 (Edgbaston) – Saturday July 1 (start 6:35 p.m.)
- Second international T20 (The Kia Oval) – Wednesday, July 5 (start 6:35 p.m.)
- Third international T20 (Lord’s) – Saturday July 8 (start 6:35 p.m.)
- First international dayI (Unique Stadium, Bristol) – Wednesday July 12 (start 1 p.m.)
- Second international dayI (The Ageas bowl) – Sunday July 16 (departure 11am)
- Third One Day International (Taunton) – Tuesday, July 18 (start 1 p.m.)
How does the Women’s Ashes point system work?
The winners of the Test match earn four points, with the teams each taking two points in the event of a tie. Two points are awarded for wins in each of the white ball games, with teams earning one point each in the event of a tie or no result.
Watch The Ashes of Women Live on Sky Sports Cricket from this Thursday. Coverage of the Test match, at Trent Bridge, begins at 10 a.m. before the first ball at 11 a.m.