August 9, 2022
England vs New Zealand, Commonwealth Games, 2022


You wouldn’t necessarily know that it’s watching his rip-offs of opposing players from the ground up in true, old Brunt fashion. But as England draw closer to their goal of winning a Commonwealth Games medal on their home soil, with retirement looming high, it’s not really the brunt of the old.

At least not publicly Brunt has set his retirement date. But, after declaring that he had played his last Test during the Ashes in January, he recently told ESPNcricinfo that, whether he wants to time his international career after the Commonwealth Games or next year’s T20 World Cup, Push for it, the end will be ” very soon”.

“Everybody has their ups and downs,” Brunt said, as Brunt struggled with his action during England’s tour of Australia and then New Zealand for the ODI World Cup.

“I have a lot of questions for myself and I’ve worked exceptionally hard the last three months before this tournament. So it’s fun because I’m feeling good, playing well, and things like that.” It’s hard to walk away. That. So yeah, there’s a lot going on in my mind right now.”

She was speaking after taking two for just two runs in her first two overs to submit to New Zealand as they made 71 for 9 in 20 overs during their final group game. England won by seven wickets with 50 balls to spare to top Group B and avoid semi-final favorites Australia. After taking on India in England’s day’s game, New Zealand will take on Group A leaders Australia in the second semi-final to be played in the UK on Saturday.

Brunt has had a great tournament so far. He finished Thursday night’s match with 2 for 4 in three overs as he took 1 for 16 and scored an unbeaten 38 off 23 balls and 8 wickets in three overs in their 26-run victory against South Africa. 1 claimed as England beat Sri Lanka by five wickets.

Her fourth ball against New Zealand was an offcutter that sent Sophie Devine’s leg stump cartwheeling, a ball she had added to her arsenal under previous England women’s coach Mark Robinson.

“He challenged me to get better as a player,” Brunt said. “They’ve noticed that a lot of kids in their 30s aren’t able to improve their game at that point. You either fidget or you step up.

“It was a challenge and I wanted to prove him wrong, step up, so I got some balls and he’s my banker, and I bring him out when I need to. I’m really happy for so many of my careers.” Picked it up in the final stages.”

Brunt’s eighth delivery was similar but quicker and hit the top of Amelia Kerr’s middle stump as New Zealand rolled to 10 for 2. Then 20-year-old Issie Wong, representing the next wave of England fast bowlers, took 2 for 10 from him. Three overs, including the tournament’s leading run-scorer, Suzy Bates, to put New Zealand in serious trouble.

Brunt was full of praise for the likes of Wong and left-arm seamer Freya Kemp, who is just 17 years old, as is Alice Capsi, second only to Bates on the tournament’s run-scoring charts. All three England youngsters made their international debut in a bilateral series against South Africa just before the Games and took the task with ease, rejoicing in the atmosphere of over 10,000 crowds at Edgbaston.

“I know for a fact they love it, and they’re not intimidated,” Brunt said. “They are very confident people and you can’t play an international game without confidence and arrogance in a healthy way.

“It’s like boxers, isn’t it? They talk about a good game. They say they’ll never give up, they’re the best they’ve ever been, and that’s the kind of arrogance you have because there’s so much to get out of.” I feel like being in that kind of crowd and putting myself in front of thousands of people. I’m glad they’ve got it because I think it’s been an important component for me in my career.”

New Zealand captain Devine joked that that illustrious career could not end soon.

“To be completely honest, me and Suze [Bates] Said we can’t wait until she retires,” Devine smiled. “She’s been bugging us for 15 years. He’s still in arrears. She defies her age and her skills are incredible, so full credit, she is still able to run and bowl the way she does.

“She’s a really smart player. She’s probably not as quick as she used to be, she’ll admit at first… I hope so, because otherwise she’s probably going to send me some beamers. But a really smart bowler.” And she leads that team well. She will leave a huge hole when she retires, which is expected to happen very soon.”

Valkerie Baynes is the General Editor at ESPNcricinfo

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