Jenny Gunn, a newly contracted player with the Northern Diamonds, has challenged the rising crop of young Yorkshire cricketers to end her career.

The former England all-rounder, 34, has signed on with the Diamonds as one of five contracted players for 2021; Hollie Armitage, Phoebe Graham, Beth Langston and Linsey Smith the others.

Gunn describes herself as “the worst retiree”.

Having called time on a 15-year England career – she won three World Cup crowns and five Ashes – in October of last year, she was fully preparing for the end of her career altogether once Coronavirus struck the world.

But, having been coaxed back onto the field in August with the Diamonds by coach and former team-mate Dani Hazell, she impressed with bat and ball through the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy and has done enough to be asked to go again.

Gunn, who is also working as a cricket coach at Trent College in Nottingham, said: “I retired from England, and my plan straightaway was to try and get to Australia and work over there.

“I did some unpaid (coaching) work experience with Cricket New South Wales last winter. It’s a lot different out there, so I did some work with them and for my club side Sydney.

“I came back in March because, at the time, my sister had Covid and I thought, ‘If something happens to one of my family members, I don’t want to be in another country’.

“So I came back and, when cricket got going, Dani Hazell said to me, ‘What are you doing?’

“I didn’t have a lot else going on, and I’d played last winter in Australia and felt in alright shape. So I said yes and really enjoyed it.

“I’m the worst retiree because I thought this summer would be my last. But I enjoyed it and thought, ‘Why not’ when this contract offer came.

“I had another contract offer. I won’t say from where. But I know there’s a few people moaning on Twitter about me getting a contract at my age.

“But if you look at the bigger picture, I know I’m not going to play for England. So I’m always going to be around and have played at that level. I’ll be able to help future England players get there.

“This coming season will probably be my last, but I really want the youngsters to kick me out of the door and say, ‘This is my time now’.”

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