England v West Indies: T20 series ‘has been a long time coming’ – Natalie Sciver – BBC Sport

England v West Indies T20 women’s series: Meet the stars of the show
Venue: Incora County Ground, Derby Date: 21 September Time: 18:00 BST
Coverage: Ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on all games with highlights on BBC TV, live text commentary and in-play clips on BBC Sport website & app. Highlights on BBC Two at 23:30.

England women will play their first international match since March when they face West Indies in the opening T20 of a five-match series on Monday.

Neither side has played since they met before the coronavirus pandemic at the T20 World Cup in Australia in March.

The first game takes place at 18:00 BST behind closed doors at the Incora County Ground, Derby.

“It has been a long time coming and I can safely say everyone is ready to go,” all-rounder Natalie Sciver said.

England beat West Indies by 46 runs in their last meeting in Sydney.

The hosts have a good record against the 2016 T20 world champions at home, having won five of six matches against them in England.

“It’s been a long time since we played together as a group in an international, but it’ll be good to get back together on the pitch,” Sciver said.

“We have been together for what feels like a while now and it has been good to train as much as we did with the big group.”

Sciver is currently the third-ranked T20 all-rounder in the world and is aiming to take the top spot from New Zealand’s Sophie Devine.

She was England’s leading run-scorer in the recent T20 World Cup and has taken 58 wickets in 75 matches.

“Being a senior player comes with certain responsibility, and I think I play better when I’ve got a bit of responsibility,” she added.

“It’s been a good journey. I’m trying to be a gamechanger in any format.”

Teams to take knee for BLM

Black Lives Matter logo on West Indies shirt
Both teams will wear the Black Lives Matter logo on their shirts

Both teams will wear the Black Lives Matter logo on their shirts and take a knee before the game.

“We are a team of diverse women and we know what it is to be judged based on the colour of our skin,” West Indies captain Stafanie Taylor said.

“Sport is the single unifying factor regardless of nationality, race or religion.

“We as athletes and cricketers must use our platform to help bring about that dialogue and change.”

England and West Indies men also knelt before the start of play in their three-Test series.

Ones to watch – analysis

Alison Mitchell, BBC TV and Test Match Special commentator

Sophie Ecclestone (Eng): A left-arm spinner with incredible control and economy, and the youngest woman to have taken 50 international T20 wickets. She’s also the number one T20 bowler in the world.

Deandra Dottin (WI): Despite a poor T20 World Cup, with just 12 runs in three innings, she is still the batter every team fears because of her destructive power. She nearly gave up the game when she struggled to rehab after shoulder surgery in 2019.

Natalie Sciver (Eng): Her team’s power-hitting all-rounder, she will come on as a change bowler looking to take wickets with swing and seam. When she’s batting, keep an eye out for her ‘Natmeg’ shot…

Hayley Matthews (WI): Mathews shot to fame as an 18-year-old, with a match-winning 66 in the World Twenty20 final in 2016. A classy bat who bowls off-spin, she is highly sought after in the global T20 leagues.

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