Shrubsole: I hope 2017 legacy lasts but game has new opportunity now

Had the coronavirus pandemic not intervened and forced a 13-month delay, yesterday would have been World Cup final day, where England would have hoped to defend the title they won on home soil four years ago. 

Instead, they are revelling in the lesser, though still significant, success of having wrapped up comprehensive ODI and T20 series victories in New Zealand while their vice-captain, Shrubsole, watches on from home with a degree of jealousy as she recovers from a knee injury. 

“I’ve been trying to ignore the girls on social media,” she admits. “But they’ve been playing brilliantly, which is really nice to see.”

For now, at least, it is Shrubsole’s Lord’s heroics of 2017 that remainthe defining image for women’s game in this country. Four years on, the legacy of that day in inspiring a new generation of young cricketers is as important as ever, particularly as we prepare to emerge from a pandemic which many fear has stalled the growth of the women’s game. 

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“f you ask most of the girls when they were growing up who they looked up to, we all kind of had to look to the men’s game.” Shrubsole tells Standard Sport. 

“We’re all really aware that with increased visibility in women’s cricket that hopefully we’re able to act as those role models for girls – and boys – wanting to play cricket. 

“Having that World Cup in this country was central to that and it was nice at the time all the stories of people wanting to keep up the game. Hopefully, that legacy is still lasting.”

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