England allrounder Danni Wyatt on finding her ideal role, switching Kia Super League teams, and rubbing it in the Aussies’ faces.
It’s a massive summer for women’s cricket coming up. Do you see it as a chance to boost its profile ever further?
Yeah, definitely. We’ve got a lot of cricket coming up. Having the Kia Super League straight after the World Cup, I think it’s a week after the final, is amazing and hopefully the Super League really takes off this year after hopefully a popular World Cup.
Joe Root and Ben Stokes have talked about the need to entertain with how they play their cricket, as well as getting results. Does the same go for the women’s team?
I love that attitude. Since Mark Robinson has come in he’s always talked about us playing with freedom which for me is when I play my best cricket. It just helps knowing the coach is backing everyone in that sense. He says it doesn’t matter if you get out playing an attacking shot and you wanted to play that shot; it’s when there’s a lack of intent that he’s going to be unhappy with you. So I think all the batters can go out there and bat with intent, play proper cricket shots, and entertain the nation. Hopefully that’s what the crowd want to see
You’ve had some time out of the side, and now you’re back in. Do you feel you understand what’s expected of you in the team?
Yeah, I’ve been at number six since Robbo has come in and, touch wood, I’ve not been dropped for a game since he’s been in charge. It helps knowing that the coach actually believes in you and knowing what my role, as a number six, is: to come in and try and hit some boundaries and run hard from ball one. That’s my game really. In the past I’ve been up and down the order, in and out of the side, but knowing I’ve got that role now at number six is a nice relief for me really.
Coming in and getting just 28 off 15 balls could be a matchwinning knock and that’s what I’m working on in the nets, I’m practising hitting the corners. But then in a game against West Indies I think we were 30-odd for four and I came in at number six and really needed to try and get us back in it. I think we made 150 in the end and we won the game.
Is it frustrating to have been moved around so much? You were sometimes played as a batsman who doesn’t bowl, and other times almost vice versa. It’s been hard for us sometimes to work out what you are as a player!
A lot of coaches always tell me I need to be more selfish. When Charlotte Edwards was in the side I used to open with her quite a lot so I’d go in and try and get the team off to a flier and then throw my wicket away. Coming in at five or six, it’s probably the same role but with a clearer plan. I know what I’ve got to do now and I’ve played some good innings down the order so just having confidence from that is a really good feeling.
What constitutes success at this World Cup?
Obviously we want to win it. Everyone’s got their role now and we’re really confident that we can do something special in this World Cup. Obviously the Aussies are favourites but we’ve got an advantage of playing on home soil so we’re just going to go out there and play with freedom, enjoy the occasion. It’s a dream come true to play in a World Cup in your own backyard. I’ve played in a few World Cups out of the country, but never actually won one. I’ve been in a few World Cup finals and been there in that heartbreaking moment watching the Aussies lift the trophy and it’s not nice so hopefully we can win it this time and rub it in their faces!
Do you think the gap has narrowed between England and Australia since Robinson came in?
Yeah, definitely. We’ve only played them once since Robbo’s been in charge in the World T20 semi-final and I think we lost by five runs but a lot has happened from then to now and I think we’ve really got what it takes to beat them. There’s a really good vibe around the ground at the minute and everyone believes in each other. I think we’re in a really good place.
You’ve switched Kia Super League teams, from Lancashire Thunder to Southern Vipers, last year’s champions. How did that come about?
I’m quite good friends with [Vipers captain] Charlotte Edwards and she sent me a text, ‘Oi, Dan, we want you to play for us’ and I was like ‘OK, but I’m at Lancs’! But it worked out because Lancs have got too many England players – you’re only allowed three – and Vipers needed another England player; Lottie doesn’t count as an England player anymore so they only had Tash Farrant. I play down South for Sussex and the travelling’s not too bad. It’s a nice feeling knowing that the winning team wanted me to play for them. We’ve got a really good squad and I’m sure it’ll be good fun with Lottie, Batesy [Suzie Bates] and Tash around. Hopefully we can win it again.
Did the KSL live up to your hopes in its first year? And how do you expect it to be different this year?
Yeah, I found every game just like an international game. The standard was excellent. You’ve got three England players and three internationals in each team. Powerful batsman, skilful bowlers, even the fielding was really good. There are six games on Sky and we’re playing at some really good grounds this year, which is a step up. Hopefully there’ll be good tracks. That’s the good thing about the WBBL. We played at the main grounds like the MCG, Etihad, and the tracks were amazing. You need a nice, hard trick which you can smack some sixes on!