Surrey Women Captain and Normandy’s own Hannah Jones will lead her team out in this week’s London Cup at the Kia Oval.
The fixture will be the first played in SE11 this summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will take place behind closed doors but a live stream, starting shortly before 6pm will be available on https://www.kiaoval.com/
Whilst there won’t be anyone in the stands, the chance to bring the curtain up on this strangest of summers is still an exiting one for Jones & her teammates.
“We can’t wait to get out there and we’re so happy the fixture is at The Kia oval” said Jones. “We’ve prepared as well as we possibly could have and we’re confident that we’re doing everything right in the build-up. It’s a shame we may not have those England players with us but it’s not a surprise to us and we’re ready to go. We haven’t paid much attention to Middlesex, other than seeing that they can run five kilometres (in a time trial competition) pretty quickly! Focusing on ourselves is the way we give ourselves the best chance”
As captain, Jones has taken some responsibility herself in providing support during the challenges of recent months.
“When we’ve met for training, I’ve really tried to take a lead on making sure everyone is settled and comfortable. It’s been a really horrible time, some players have lost relatives and others have lost their jobs so just saying ‘Are you alright? Right, let’s get on with cricket’ isn’t enough. It’s hard to keep that group buzz during things like fielding drills because we’re not all together but I know it’s going to be a great moment when we do finally get together in our big group on Wednesday.”
County cricket was due to be played earlier in the year, with the new regional set up to take over later in the summer after the completion of The Hundred. All those plans were scuppered by lockdown and now the counties, regional centres of excellence and the ECB are working to salvage some women’s cricket this year.
Jones knows exactly what she would like to see.
“From my personal point of view, I love captaining these girls and leading Surrey so I’d like there to be as much county cricket as possible in the future. I know that Surrey are very committed to maintaining the county side so hopefully we can keep that representation up.”