England left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone believes beating Australia in the final of ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup would be the “perfect end” for her team and added that the defending champions are capable of pulling off an upset to end the clean slate of Meg Lanning & Co.
England have been on tour for the past three months, going winless in the 12-4 women’s Ashes in Australia before losing to the same opponents in their World Cup opener on March 5 at Hamilton. But on Sunday, England will look to defend the title they won in 2017 at home when they meet Australia in the final at Hagley Oval.
“Beating the Aussies in the final, that’d be the perfect end for us. I can’t really put into words after the Ashes we had. I really believe in this group on our day we can definitely beat the Aussies. And I think we’ve got a great chance to (do so),” said Ecclestone after England defeated South Africa by 137 runs in second semifinal.
Ecclestone stated that England will focus on their processes rather than think about Australia’s weak points. “I don’t think we worry about them too much. I think we worry about ourselves and just do what we can do and then know if we play our best cricket, and our batters bat the way they can or the bowlers’ bowl — we’ve got such a great unit as a team. So, we’ll just focus on ourselves and do the best we can.”
Ecclestone is currently the leading wicket-taker of the tournament with 20 wickets. The start of the mega event wasn’t a great one for her, conceding 77 runs in her 10 overs against Australia. Since then, Ecclestone has played an important hand in England’s astonishing turnaround of winning five straight matches after losing the first three games, including picking her career-best figures of 6/36 in the semifinal against South Africa.
“Massive (turnaround). I think it’s another great day out against the Aussies. I think it’s fair to say so as it’s (about) come back the way I did. I’m really proud of myself and the teams that fight back. So it’s been amazing to watch that and obviously witnessed that myself and great to come out the way I did.”
Ecclestone signed off by pointing towards ‘nothing to lose’ attitude as the key reason behind England’s turnaround after a bad start to their World Cup defence.
“When we lost three of those (matches), there was a few tears in the changing room after the game. Everyone was very disappointed for how it’d gone.”
“But I think the turning point was that we had a few meetings just to say we’ve got nothing to lose now, just go out and put what we’re doing at the training ground into a game and go have no fear which I think we have done. We’ve not put out best cricket yet. So, getting through to the final is so good to see from this group.”
PM Narendra Modi Lays Foundation Stone For Rs.451 Crore International Cricket Stadium In Varanasi
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the new International Cricket Stadium in Varanasi on September 23rd (Saturday). The likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Ravi Shastri, Dilip Vengsarkar, and Sunil Gavaskar were also present for the ceremony. The Prime Minister also went on to present an Indian team jersey to Tendulkar.
The state government, led by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, has remitted a whopping ₹121 crore for the purpose of land acquisition, while the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) shall put in ₹330 crore from their side for the iconic stadium’s construction. Some of the notable features that the stadium would have are trishul-shaped floodlights, drum-shaped media center, and crescent moon-shaped roof.
Meanwhile, the stone-laying ceremony witnessed some of the most top figures from the BCCI, including President Roger Binny, Vice-President Rajiv Shukla, and Secretary Jay Shah. This will also be the third international stadium in Uttar Pradesh, with Kanpur and Lucknow already having one.
“The sportspersons here will benefit from the construction of an international stadium” – Narendra Modi
Speaking at the ceremony, Modi stated that sports are no longer prohibited by the elders, unlike before, as it acts as an incentive in several ways. He said, as quoted by The Indian Express:
“This stadium in the city of ‘Mahadev’ will be dedicated to ‘Mahadev’ himself. The sportspersons here will benefit from the construction of an international stadium in Kashi. There was a time when parents used to scold their children for playing sports, but that is no longer true. When sports infrastructure is built in an area, it acts as an incentive not just for young sporting talent but also spurs the local economy.”
The stadium has a seating capacity of approximately 30000 and the construction of the same is likely to finish by December 2025.
Legends Including Sachin Tendulkar And Ravi Shastri Leave For Varanasi For Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony For New International Stadium In UP
Legendary Indian cricketers Sachin Tendulkar, Ravi Shastri, Sunil Gavaskar, and Dilip Vengsarkar on Saturday headed for Varanasi for the foundation stone laying ceremony of the international cricket stadium in Uttar Pradesh.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to lay the foundation stone of the International Cricket Stadium in Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi on Saturday afternoon.
The Uttar Pradesh government led by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has spent Rs 121 crores on land acquisition for the construction of the International Cricket Stadium in Varanasi. Moreover, the BCCI will spend Rs 330 crores on the stadium’s construction.
The former India head coach Shashti on Saturday took to social media ‘X’, formerly known as Twitter, and wrote in a post, “Varanasi bound. Great to be amongst Greats and colleagues for Mumbai and India. Just a few international runs and wickets there. Pic of a lifetime. Gr8 memories.”
The thematic architecture of this stadium draws inspiration from Lord Shiva, with designs developed for crescent-shaped roof covers, trident-shaped floodlights, ghat steps-based seating, and Bilvipatra-shaped metallic sheets on the facade. The stadium will have a capacity of 30,000 spectators.
Veteran players like Tendulkar, Gavaskar, Shastri, Vengsarkar will be present at the foundation stone laying ceremony.
Uttar Pradesh to have its 3rd international stadium:
The event will also have the presence of key figures from the BCCI, including President Roger Binny, Vice President Rajiv Shukla, and Secretary Jay Shah, the release stated. Furthermore, many veteran players are expected to attend the foundation stone laying ceremony. After Kanpur and Lucknow, this will be Uttar Pradesh’s third international cricket stadium.
IND vs AUS: ‘Always Well Looked After And Well Protected’ As David Warner Feeling ‘Great’ To Be Back In India
The Australian cricket team has landed in India ahead of what will be their final dress rehearsal for the 2023 World Cup. Veteran Australian opener David Warner took to his official Instagram handle and expressed their gratefulness at landing in India. He also thanked GMR Aerocity for making their transit easy.
Warner will be one of the few players most in focus ahead of the ODI series, especially due to his inconsistency in the preceding rubber against South Africa. The left-hander made only two fifty-plus scores in five innings and threw away starts consistently.
The five-time World Champions will be keen to get back in the groove after missing an opportunity to win the series in South Africa despite a 2-0 lead. The middle-order batters, including Alex Carey and Marcus Stoinis will be under pressure for consistently failing against the Proteas. With Steve Smith back in the side and Australia set to field a full-strength attack, they should be in a good stead.
The 36-year-old took to his Instagram handle and wrote:
“Always great to be welcomed back to india. We are always well looked after and well protected. Thanks so much. @gmraerocity always makes our transits so easy.”
Australia won the three-game ODI series in India earlier this year:
Pat Cummins and co. should draw confidence from their success against the Men in Blue in their backyard earlier this year under the captaincy of Steve Smith. Nevertheless, India are an in-form team, having won the Asia Cup 2023.
However, the men’s team’s chief selector Chief selector Ajit Agarkar has announced resting Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli for the first two ODIs. KL Rahul will captain India in Mohali and Indore,
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