Watch England Women’s T20 series against West Indies Women live on Sky Sports Cricket from Monday, September 21
Last Updated: 14/09/20 11:50am
England Women head coach Lisa Keightley says her side are ready to “excite” after a “really challenging time” that has seen them go six months without a match.
England have not played since March’s T20 World Cup in Australia due to the coronavirus pandemic, with potential home series against India and South Africa shelved due to travel restrictions.
Keightley’s team will be in action this summer, though, with a five-match T20I series against West Indies in Derby beginning on Monday, September 21, with all games live on Sky Sports.
England vs West Indies
September 21, 2020, 6:45pm
“It’s been such a long time and we have had highs and lows, so it has been a really challenging time,” Keightley – who took charge of England Women in January – told Sky Sports News.
“India and South Africa were coming and then not coming. West Indies maybe coming and then definitely coming. The  World Cup put back a year.
“The ECB has done everything in its powers to make sure we play cricket this season. They have been very proactive and supportive so it’s a great reward for a lot effort.
“To get out there as a team, play, and show what we can do is hugely important.
“Hopefully the girls can play an exciting brand of cricket that makes you want to watch. Games between West Indies and England will be competitive.”
Keightley – who played 92 times for Australia Women between 1995 and 2005 – feels West Indies men opting to tour England earlier this summer and stay in bio-secure environments amid the pandemic was crucial in their women’s side agreeing to September’s series.
“To have West Indies come over and have some games is hugely important for the game and the England players,” added Keightley, who formerly coached Australia Women, the England Women’s Academy and Women’s Big Bash League side Perth Scorchers.
“The West Indies had an idea of what the bubble looked like and were confident that it had been really successful. I think it was an easy step forward for both organisations to get it up and running.
“Coaches and players have got used to day-to-day training within a bubble so we can do it.
“It takes a lot of organisation from governing bodies but what’s happened so far shows you can play cricket and move the game forward.”
Shrubsole never lost hope of playing
England seamer Anya Shrubsole told Sky Sports last week she always felt her side would play some international cricket this summer amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“These are obviously very different and very difficult times and sometimes things are going to look a bit different and you’ve got to get your priorities straight,” said Shrubsole, back to full fitness after an operation on her foot.
“Men’s Test cricket was always going to be a priority for this summer. What we always believed as a squad was that the ECB would work unbelievably hard to get us some cricket and that’s what’s happened.”
Watch England Women’s five-match T20I series against West Indies Women live on Sky Sports Cricket. The first match takes place on Monday, September 21.