Gunn’s family ties

With a European Cup winner for a father and a World Cup medal already to her name, England Women's leading ODI wicket-taker is keen to add more silverware to the mantelpiece
Jenny Gunn

With a European Cup winner for a father, sporting prowess is in the genes of Jenny Gunn’s family – and the England cricketer is determined to add more silverware to the mantelpiece when the ICC Women’s World Cup gets underway on home soil next month.

Born six years after dad Bryn lifted the trophy with Nottingham Forest in 1980, it was cricket, not football, that turned the head of young Gunn, who went on to become a record-breaking bowler for England.

As the country’s all-time leading wicket-taker in ODIs, Gunn will play at her fourth one-day World Cup this summer, when the tournament kicks off in England and Wales on June 24.

The 31-year-old already has a World Cup medal to her name, as a member of the 2009 winning team despite missing out on the final through injury.

Her medal sits proudly next to that of her father’s, and with her eyes set firmly on success once again, Gunn can’t wait to have a familiar face watching on in the crowd.

Jenny Gunn is the leading wicket-taker in ODIs for England Women.
Jenny Gunn is the leading wicket-taker in ODIs for England Women.

“Growing up, we have always been a competitive family, but Dad has never put pressure on us to go into sport,” said multiple Ashes winner Gunn, speaking on the Nissan Trophy Tour.

“It was something I just fell in love with and I chose cricket. I always said I’d love to put another European Cup medal next to my Dad’s, but I’d happily put another World Cup medal next to it instead.

“Dad actually says mine is a bigger achievement but back in the day, winning the European Cup was massive, and there is a lot more money in it nowadays.

“It’s something that our family are always going to be proud of, I’m so proud of my Dad for doing what he achieved.

“He comes to watch me a lot. They stand miles away from the pitch in the corner, Dad will be whistling and my Mum and Grandma will be waving away trying to embarrass me.

“Dad gets it though, so I really enjoy it when they all come to watch. I think they’re looking forward to watching me in the Midlands, because usually they have to drive miles to come and watch.”

With games taking place in Leicester, Derby, Bristol and Taunton before the showcase final at Lord’s on July 23, the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup will welcome the eight best women’s sides from around the planet for what is expected to be the biggest and best tournament yet.

England has never lost a World Cup they have hosted – its first two victories coming in 1973 and 1993 in the capital – and with a fourth success looking increasingly on the cards, Gunn insists home support will be vital on every step of the way.

Jenny Gunn with her England Women teammates.
Jenny Gunn with her England Women teammates.

“It’s a home World Cup and I think that is what everyone dreams of playing one day. For me personally, it’s great because it is coming to the Midlands which is where I’m from. I’m from Nottingham so playing in Leicester and Derby is massive for me,” she said.

“My previous World Cups have been a real mixed bag. We won in 2009 in Australia, which was amazing, but I got injured on the morning of the final so I had a lot of mixed emotions that day.

“Knowing that I was in the team and then having to withdraw was hard, but it was still amazing to win in Australia.

“My first ever World Cup was in 2005 in South Africa, and that was just a real eye-opener to what it was all about, and what women’s cricket can do.

“I think now, with most teams going professional, it’s going to really show how women’s  cricket has developed.

“With the likes of the Derby game already being sold out, it shows that people want to come and watch it and that is amazing for us to hear. Hopefully we can put on a good show for everybody.”

The ICC Women’s World Cup 24 June-23 July will see the best women’s ODI teams in the world compete for ultimate glory this summer. Tickets available at icc-cricket.com/tickets

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