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ADR expects fiercely competitive women's World T20

— 9 November 2018

Yorkshire Diamonds all-rounder Alice Davidson-Richards is expecting a fiercely competitive and exciting women’s World T20, which starts in the Caribbean today.

Davidson-Richards says England are amongst the favourites as they bid to add to the one-day World Cup crown they won on home soil in 2017.

England have suffered an injury setback with Yorkshire star Katherine Brunt’s long-standing back injury flaring up again in a warm-up match earlier in the week. The all-rounder has now been ruled out of the tournament and replaced by Fran Wilson.

But Davidson-Richards, nicknamed ADR, has highlighted England’s variety in their squad as a major plus for coach Mark Robinson and captain Heather Knight.

“They will be able to deal with all the conditions they are faced with out there,” said the 24-year-old, who has a rookie contract with England and played one one-day and five T20 internationals on tour in India earlier this year.

“They have players who can smash it to all parts, players who can grind out a total. They also have a really well balanced bowling attack.

  • Yorkshire Diamonds pair Katherine Brunt and Lauren Winfield
  • “Out there you have slower outfields and slower pitches, which means less seamers and more spinners.

    “They’ve brought in Kirstie Gordon and Linsey Smith (two left-arm spinners).

    “Kirstie is a bit slower and Linsey just doesn’t give you anything. They’ll be really important. If they bowl how they have done at home, they’ll be more than ok.

    “Sophie Ecclestone is also ridiculously talented.

    “She’s the best spinner of the three. England have a barrage of them when you also include Danni Hazell. It’s just relentless.”

  • Yorkshire Women CCC's Danielle Hazell

    Loughborough Lightning pair Gordon and Smith are two of three uncapped players in England’s squad alongside Surrey all-rounder Sophia Dunkley.

    “It’s good that they’re giving young players chances,” said Davidson-Richards. “Sophia has played well all year. She hits it in funny areas and so hard. It’s a good mix between youth and experience in the squad.”

    The top two teams in each of the two groups go through to the semi-finals, with England in Group A alongside champions West Indies, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

    They open up against Sri Lanka in St Lucia (8pmUK) on Saturday.

    Australia are the bookies favourites, but Davidson-Richards said: “I think it’s a competition where actually quite a few teams could win it.

    “You’ve got England who won the last 50-over World Cup and have been going well in the T20s of late, you have India who are really good on their day, the West Indies are champions and at home and Australia are such a strong team.

    “It’s going to be a really exciting few weeks.

    “For me, there’s no clear favourites, although I have to back England.

    “I was part of England’s preparations, and they are more than ready.”

    Elsewhere, it was no surprise to hear Kent-born Davidson-Richards highlight India opening batsman Smriti Mandhana as one to watch given she smashed 421 runs at an average of 60.14 for Western Storm in the Kia Super League in August.

    The left-hander posted scores of 48 and 56 in wins over Yorkshire, although rode her luck in the clash at Scarborough.

    “For Australia, their key bowlers will be Megan Schutt. She’s bowled really well for them in T20s,” added Davidson-Richards, who would love to see an England v Australia final.

    “You can’t rule out Stefanie Taylor of the West Indies because she can come in and play an innings that blows you away.

    “(Harmanpreet) Kaur and Mandhana for India are also pretty handy, but hopefully Mandhana’s runs have been and gone after this summer’s Super League. She was absolutely relentless.

    “Teams would have plans for her, but she kept hitting through the ball and over everyone, or in between everyone as she did with us at Scarborough.

    “That was the most frustrating game in the world!

    “But sometimes you can’t help but say ‘Well played’.”