Danni Wyatt believes that England will be able to throw off the shackles in this summer’s ICC Women’s World Cup, despite being the host nation.
Having featured in the 2013 campaign, all-rounder Wyatt is bidding to earn her second successive call-up to her country’s World Cup squad when it is announced on 22 May and is looking forward to pitting her wits against the best players from across the globe when they descend on England next month.
England’s quest to regain the trophy it lifted in 2009 in Australia begins on 24 June as it takes on India at the County Ground in Derby in the tournament opener.
The matches will be contested at five venues across England with the final being played at the Home of Cricket, Lord’s on 23 July.
And Wyatt, 26, reckons that while current holder Australia is one of the strongest sides, England should have confidence in its own ability.
“Going in to the ICC World Cup, I don’t think that we’re the favourites,” she said.
“The Aussies have been playing really well, so there’s not really any pressure on us but anything can happen.
“We are playing in England, so we do have a little bit of an advantage.
“Playing in the World Cup last time was a dream come true, so I’d love to get picked again.”
The Staffordshire-born star – who has played in 48 ODIs for England scoring 521 runs with a batting average of 15.78 - and her teammates finished third in the tournament in India in 2013.
Wyatt, who has taken 27 wickets in ODIs with her off-spin bowling, reckons that she did her chances of being selected this summer little harm with her performances during England’s training camp in the United Arab Emirates in April.
Wyatt featured in a match between England squad members while also playing in three 50-over warm-up matches against Ireland – racking up a hearty knock of 82 in the third and final match – at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
“Ireland had a bit of a development team out in that last game, so I was told not to just whack it, even though Twenty20 is my game,” said Wyatt, who also featured as her country made the semi-finals of last year’s ICC World Twenty20.
“I had to take my time and hit the bad balls. I was told to bat like it was a Test match and head coach Mark Robinson said that I played well, so that was nice to hear,” said Wyatt, who has scored 488 runs and taken 46 wickets in 70 Twenty20 Internationals.
“Dubai was great preparation for all of us – the batters got runs, the bowlers took wickets and the girls were on fire in the field.
“Being split into two teams was something that I’ve not done before and I didn’t see half of the girls for a lot of the time.
“It was competitive when we played each other, and that was great. I was on Team A. Anya (Shrubsole) was my captain, and we won.”
England has won the ICC Women’s World Cup three times since its inception in 1973 – including twice as host in the inaugural tournament and again in 1993 – and will hope that it can keep its successful run as host going.