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It was a bitter-sweet Women's wporld cup for Bath's Anya Shrubsole. She finished as England's leading wicket-taker in the tournament ( and second over-all) despite bowling in just 4 games. She picked up her best ODI bowling return of 5-17 against South Africa, she bowled out some of the best female cricketers on display and even showed that she could bat a little bit as well, so nearly seeing england across the line against Australia. However, the England team failed to retain their crown as World Champions and, as with the T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka, they returned home with plenty to think about. 

Here, Anya answers some questions about the World Cup.

Q. There were more suprises in WWC 2013 than previously seen in women's cricket. Do you think this is a major change for women's cricket or just a blip for some of the traditionally strong sides?
AS. I see it as the start of a change for women's cricket. The so called 'lesser' teams are improving at a rate of knots and sides like Sri Lanka and Pakistan are starting to get better backing from their boards.Sri Lanka v England/India will still be considered shock results but these results will start to become more and more frequent in my opinion.>

 

Q. Are WI now to be considered one of the top 4 teams in female cricket? Where are India now?

AS. On evidence of last 2 tournaments you would have to say WI need to be considered in top 4. there has been a big shift in previous dominance of previous Top 4 who were a long way ahead of rest. Everyone is much closer now.


Q. The England v Sri Lanka game ended up being a key moment in the tournament for you. Why did you lose? Did you take them too lightly?

AS. I don't think it was taken too lightly, we just performed poorly on all 3 fronts in the game and, especially dropped crucial catches. That said, SL probably performed beyond our expectation and, whilst there has been some talk about us "resting" players, the 3 who missed out for England were carrying injuries (myself included). Even so, we would have expect edthe team that played to be more than good enough to win


Q. Conditions in India were not as expected pre-tournament. It was anticipated that spin would hold the key, yet the stats show that it was the seamers who were the key bowlers.

AS. The 9 am starts definitely had a lot to do with it. It was very dewey in the morning so the ball swung around a fair amount. It is also possible that the batters spent a lot of time practising against spin because it is normally dominant in sub continent and neglected their work against the quicker bowlers. I could be wrong though!

 
Q. Is this the shape of things to come or just a peculiarity of the conditions out there?

AS.  Possibly - there appears to be a few young fast bowlers coming through. Teams are putting slightly more emphasis and seeing the rewards of having quicker bowlers in their team.


Q. Things obviously went well for you with the ball in your hand. Did you adapt things to suit or did it all just happen?

AS. A little bit of both really. It came a little bit by chance that in the game vs. WI I wasn't getting much swing to the leftie so I turned the ball around to see if I could get it to swing the other way! It hooped and I never looked back! I continued to bowl massive in swingers for the rest of the tournament because it appeared to work! Not many people practise playing in swing.


Q Behind the scenes organisation? Compared with T20 in SL?

AS Not particularly well organised before the tournament started. There were lots of venue changes -  we didn't have a fixed schedule until a week before the tournament. Once the tournament started everything seemed to run pretty smoothly! Probably not as well  organised as well as SL… may have something to do with the fact that the men were in SL

Q. There appear to be some problems with points system, NRR, etc. How do you/your team view this?

AS. I can't speak on behalf of the team as I don't know their opinion. Personally I think that maybe they need to look at the points that are carried through from the group stages i.e. carry them all through

Q There is something wrong if it is a teams interests to not win too well and/or even lose a game isn't there? What system would you like to see in place.

AS.There is something a little wrong with that yes.Not sure what system I would like to see - Maybe bonus point wins / losses??

Q.England did not qualify for the final because of the Aus v WI game/result. Discuss!

AS. England did not qualify for the final because they lost 2 games of cricket that they should have won.

Q What was your hotel like? Can you map out how your "standard" days would look? How do things work on a match day and/or a training day?

AS. The hotel was amazing - No complaints there at all! Standard days involve training (either morning or afternoon). Because of the schedule of matches, training would comprise what each player felt they needed. I was bowling a very limited amount between games as I had niggles/ injuries I was managing all the way through. We would come back to the hotel, have lunch and then normally a late afternoon meeting. The meeting ( an hour to 90 minutes long) would review the last game and preview the next - looking at footage of opposition and come up with plans. Match days - due to the incredibly early starts were 6 am get ups which were not fun! At the ground for 7:15, a "power half-hour" during which we have to pee in a pot for analysis of hydration levels, be weighed, complete online questionnaires about how good our sleep was and other stuff before out to warm up at 7:45 and then play!

Q. You had to go across India to play South Africa in the Super Six stage. Was there much difference between Mumbai and Cuttack?

AS. We weren't in Cuttack long enough really to recognise too much of a difference! We literally arrived, trained, played the next day and then left! The ground was good, not quite as dewey, but it had an absolutely rock hard outfield!

Q. The crowds seemed generally very small on TV...is that right? Was there much publicity of WWC in India/ around Mumbai ?  Was the early elimination of India a factor?

AS. The crowds weren't great throughout - I would definitely have hoped for more in a nation with a reputation of being 'cricket mad!'
There was next to no publicity - adverts on TV but other than that didn't see much evidence of publicity around Mumbai. I would like to think there would have been bigger crowds in the latter stages if India were still in

Q The game v Australia was pivotal. What was plan going in? What was said at half-time? What was reaction afterwards - in the dressing room/next day at training/etc.?

AS. The plan going in was to bowl exactly how we bowled but not to bat quite how we did At half time we just talked about being positive chasing the runs, bat how we would normally do. Obviously everyone was completely gutted immediately afterwards - weknew it was a game we should have won but the next day - we'd moved on because we knew we still had a job to do and there was still a chance we could reach the final. There is no time to feel down/sorry for yourselves

Q. Could you try to talk through emotions and thought-processes when you went out to bat v Australia? 

AS. We were probably the only people who realised that I vaguely knew who to bat - I think everyone else had written us off when I walked out. Holly and I were probably the 2 calmest out there - we knew we were not under much time pressure - we just had to bat sensibly and pick up runs where we could. The Aussies were very chirpy at first, but they gradually became much quieter the closer we got to the total.
We knew Lisa Sthalekar (their best bowler) only had 2 overs left then they'd have to rely on others - that's why I charged down the wicket and hit her over the top (JUST)! Both me and Holly knew that when it was in our area we would put it away! It was a real case of keep out the good balls and hit the bad balls!!! I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little nervous - BUT genuinely believed we could do it...and more and more that we would do it!

Q Of the matches you saw / were at could you highlight 3 batting performances which stood out and why?

AS. 1. KAYSHALA vs Eng - Dropped early on but then never looked back! Hit our attack where she wanted and pulled off and incredible victory for them! Very gutsy player - will fight until the death! And to prove it wasn't a fluke she did it again vs India!!
2. EDWARDS vs India - Off the back of the loss against SL we knew we needed to win and Lottie went out and let from the front! She got off to unbelievably slow start but never panicked and brought up a brilliant match winning century when we most needed it!
3. JONES vs SL - On debut, she came in with us in a horrible position and batted like she had been playing international cricket for years! Knocked the ball around and the accelerated towards the end of the innings to put us in a very winnable position! All of this knowing that come the next game she probably wouldn't be playing.

Q. Could you do the same with bowling performances (but not your own).

1. BRUNT vs India - In a must win game she came in and bowled with pace and aggression up top and removed 2 of the top 3 before returning to take 2 more wickets in a hostile spell later on in the game! To take 4 wickets on a very flat wickets was a huge factor in us winning the game.
2. FERLING vs Eng - In only her second ever international game the 17 year old displayed no nerves in what was a huge game! Bowled with pace and aggression, she ended up with 3 wickets and played a big hand in them winning the game.
3 STHALEKAR vs Eng - Having rescued them somewhat with a dogged 41 she then set about bowling a very miserly spell of off spin! Helped by the fact that the Aussie seamers had decimated our top order, she kept the pressure on bowling 10 very economical overs and picking up a crucial late wicket.

Q. Could you try to rank your own personal top 3 moments of WWC 2013. 

 1 - The ball that got Cameron - Given the batter, given the situation, given the match it was a fairly decent ball!! It would be fair to say she gave me a bit of tap in the T20 final so it was good to be able to come back with that. Middle stump out the ground is always nice as well!
 2 - The whole 5-17 spell against SA - In a must win game and a game we had to win really well to come out and produce career best figures was a special feeling! I just want to contribute to the team however I can so to do that was brilliant!
 3 - Getting Stefanie Taylor out - It would be fair to say she's not the most popular player amongst our team and is a wicket everyone wants! We talked about how we would get her out and I was able to excited that plan - knocking the stump out for good measure!! Cue lots of celebration!!

Q. What now for you? What now for the England side/squad?

AS. Everyone is having a bit of a rest! Everyone put everything they had into this World Cup campaign and deserves a break! After that me and the rest of the team will be looking forward to a huge Ashes series against Australia - We have a few things we ned to put right against them … mainly involving getting the Ashes back! For me personally … I'm straight back up to Loughborough and back to university! I'm managing to fit in a holiday to NZ as well which will be a very nice get away!! .
 

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