The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) today announced that Heather Knight has been appointed as captain of the England women’s cricket team across all three formats of the game.
Knight’s first assignment will be against Pakistan later this month in the three-match Royal London One-Day International and three-match NatWest Twenty20 International series, with the action getting underway at the Fischer County Ground, Grace Road, Leicester on Monday 20 June.
England women’s vice-captain since 2014, Knight currently leads Berkshire in the Royal London Women’s One-Day County Championship, in addition to having captained the Hobart Hurricanes in the inaugural Australian Women’s Big Bash League. This summer she will combine England duties with taking charge of the Western Storm in the new Kia Super League.
Speaking about her appointment, Knight said: “I'm hugely proud and honoured to be named England captain and can't wait to face the challenges ahead. It's a fresh, exciting time for the team and I'm looking forward to seeing how we can develop together at the start of this new era for England women’s cricket. All our focus is now on what we have to come, starting with the Pakistan series this summer.
“It will be no easy task to follow the remarkable success and impact that Charlotte Edwards enjoyed at the helm of the England team over the last ten years – she has been a wonderful servant to the game, an inspirational leader and truly world class player.
“She is a true cricketing legend and it has been a privilege to share a dressing room with her for the first six years of my England career. But I am excited by the challenge and will look to utilise the incredible platform that Lottie has laid to ensure that the England women’s team continues to grow and develop.”
England Women’s Head Coach, Mark Robinson, said: “Heather embodies many of the traits needed to be a successful captain – a superb work ethic, integrity and commitment, along with good instincts and cricket intelligence.
“These assets combined with her undoubted ability as a player make her an excellent role model, both for the team and young aspiring cricketers everywhere, and I am looking forward to working with her as we rebuild and move the team forward together.”
ECB Director of England Women’s Cricket, Clare Connor, added: “We are thrilled to see Heather Knight appointed as England captain today. There is no greater honour in our sport and few more precious roles across the entire world of sport than the role of England cricket captain.
“Heather has developed her leadership skills significantly in recent years. She led a successful inaugural Women's Big Bash League campaign with Hobart Hurricanes, captaining the team to the semi-finals of that competition. Having played under Charlotte Edwards for her entire England career so far, Heather has had an amazing mentor and leader. I am sure she will follow in Charlotte's footsteps with huge pride and determination to take this England team to an even brighter future."
Knight will become the 21st captain of the England women’s cricket team, and will work closely with Anya Shrubsole, after the ECB confirmed that the Somerset opening bowler has been appointed as England women’s vice-captain.
The 24-year-old Shrubsole won the England Women’s Cricketer of the Year award for the first time this year – her reward for a successful 12 months which saw her take 32 wickets across all formats including a spell of 4-19 in last summer’s Women’s Ashes series.
photos Janos Schmidt