décembre 1, 2022

Jon Lewis targets England Women’s World Cup and Ashes victories | ‘Can team put bums on seats regularly’? | Cricket News

4 min read

England’s new women’s head coach Jon Lewis hopes playing exciting cricket can deliver World Cup and Ashes success.

The former Gloucestershire and England seamer replaced Lisa Keightley earlier this week and will lead the side during a white-ball tour of the West Indies next month as England prepare for the T20 World Cup in February.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Lewis said that « winning World Cups and winning the Ashes is why I am here. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do ».

England last won the T20 World Cup in 2009 and won the ODI World Cup in 2017 on home soil.

In T20 World Cups, England have finished runners-up three times since 2009 and Lewis is hoping to take inspiration from the men’s team in South Africa.

« Sometimes they’ve just played a little safe in pressure moments. So that’s the area I’m going to try and get through to the squad is how to release themselves and play with freedom to express themselves and probably to entertain and inspire, » he said.

« Can this team put bums on seats regularly not because it’s women’s sport, but because of how they play and the skill that they show and actually the excitement they bring to a crowd?

« That obviously started with Eoin Morgan with the men’s white ball team. I was fortunate enough to be around that, and that’s obviously been carried on by Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes.

« There’s something within this group of players that can actually inspire them to do something that’s a little bit special. There will be bumps along the road because when you’re trying to free people up and do things a little bit differently, then there’s going to be moments where actually they don’t quite get it right. But that’s okay because that’s sport.

« I think the team did a fantastic job in 2017 of doing that. Now we’re seeing the fruits of that with the young players that are coming into the game. »

England women’s captain Heather Knight (C) holds the ICC Women’s World Cup Cricket trophy outside No 10 Downing Street in 2017

Lewis impressed by mix of youth and experience

The 47-year-old has credited the impact the 2017 World Cup has had on the pool of players available to him. He said that players like Issy Wong are « blossoming into international cricketers », adding, « that’s the knock-on effect of what happened in 2017.

« I’m excited to be able to try and replicate that, but also do it in an even bigger way, so we can carry on for a longer period and then dominate world cricket really. »

Lewis believes England have some « really exciting » players but added that they are « more talented than I thought ».

« The talent within the squad, the balance of youth and experience, there doesn’t feel like there’s a ceiling on what this team can achieve, » he said.

« Combine that with the explosion of the popularity of women’s sport, it’s probably gone from quite an embryonic stage five, 10 years ago to now becoming really mainstream. »

England captain Heather Knight has accused India bowler Deepti Sharma of 'lying' over claims Charlie Dean was warned before her 'Mankad' dismissal.
England captain Heather Knight is set to return for the tour of West Indies following hip surgery in August

Taking care of mental health is a ‘big part of the job’

Lewis will be able to call on the returning Heather Knight and Nat Sciver.

He said that England captain Knight will be a « vital cog in our wheel for the World Cup » and they’ll need to manage her as she makes her comeback from injury.

Vice-captain Sciver returns after she decided to take some time away from cricket after August’s Commonwealth Games to focus on her mental health and Lewis believes it will be important to manage workloads as women’s cricket continues to grow.

« Playing cricket all year round, all the time, it drains you, and you get exhausted, » Lewis said. « Actually making sure I’m having good individual conversations with the players and getting a feel for it and understanding them personally will help me guide them and give them information I think will help them play their best cricket for England.

« I think that’ll be one big part of the job moving forward. There are lots of new competitions coming in. You see a really full schedule for some of the players. It’s important for me to understand each individual what their needs are and how to adjust each individual’s programme as we go through the year.

« Keeping a handle on that will be a really big part of the job, but also something that’s new to a lot of these players and something that I’ve seen a lot of in the men’s game. »

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