08.01.17 - Comments Off on Heather Knight: Kia Super League has potential to upstage Big Bash
With an impressive Women’s Cricket World Cup win behind her and preparation for the Ashes ahead, we caught up with England and Western Storm captain Heather Knight at the launch of the Kia Super League to talk participation, visibility and keeping up the momentum.
How did you get involved in cricket?
My older brother Steve was mad on cricket, so I started copying him. We went along to my local cricket club Plymstock where I played with the boys before working my way up to the men’s team. It’s a route a lot of the girls took going into the game – inspired by their brothers and dads. I stuck out like a sore thumb, but I loved playing with the boys’ team and they welcomed me with open arms.
What would your advice be to girls keen to get into cricket?
My advice would be to get involved – whether it’s getting a group of mates together or joining a club. If you’re not sure about playing, you can help out in other ways – scoring, umpiring, marketing. It was great to see so many girls at the final and throughout the competition, I hope it has inspired them to get involved.
What three words would you use to describe the feeling of lifting the World Cup trophy with your team at Lord’s last Sunday?
Emotional, proud and exhilarating.
How do we use your World Cup success to drive girls’ participation in cricket?
Sunday was brilliant, but we want to make sure it’s not a one off. The Kia Super League is perfectly timed to help us keep women’s cricket in the spotlight. I hope the World Cup win will inspire more people to follow the the Kia Super League, in turn taking the game from strength to strength.
Do you think the ECB’s new broadcast deal with Sky and the BBC will affect the women’s game? And, in particular, the live coverage of the Kia Super League this summer?
Definitely – it makes women’s cricket more accessible. Sky have been a brilliant supporter of women’s cricket over the years, but to see them do domestic cricket is a first. It’s great to see the BBC get involved as well. I grew up watching cricket on terrestrial and loved it – it’s a great way to inspire more people to watch and play.
The main driver of the Kia Super League is to create six great teams to bridge the gap between women’s county and international cricket – have you seen signs of this happening?
There have been some really good younger players coming through the county system, but you can’t assess their potential until they are tested under pressure. The Kia Super League provides a great way to do this, especially with the TV coverage. It also helps to build awareness of upcoming talent.
How do you think the Kia Super League compares to the Women’s Big Bash League in Australia?
I have been involved in the Women’s Big Bash League and it’s benefited from piggy backing off the men’s competition. It might take a little longer to grow the Kia Super League as it’s completely new, but I think it has the potential to be even bigger as it attracts a slightly different audience.
Between now and the Ashes in October, what do you think is key in order to replicate the same success of the World Cup?
It’s been a manic few months, so it important to take some time off. We have this week and another off – then it’s straight back into the Ashes. The Ashes is perfectly timed, it’s easy to get into a bit of a lull after something as big as a World Cup win, but we would love to get the Ashes back. What a year 2017 would be if we won the World Cup on home soil and went to Australia and nabbed the Ashes back!
Photo credit: Tom Shaw/ ECB
Published by: wearedisrupt in Cricket