12172017

Women’s Ashes ‘too close to call’ – England captain Knight

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You don’t expect four days of solid rain in Australia – Heather Knight

England captain Heather Knight says that the Women’s Ashes series against Australia is “too close to call”.

The multi-format competition begins at 00:15 BST on Sunday with the first of three one-day internationals.

England, the World Cup winners, are looking to regain the Ashes from an Australia side without captain and leading batter Meg Lanning.

“We know we will have to be at the top of our game and that they will be gunning for us,” said Knight.

“Australia are a very good side and this is a tough place to be successful.”

Teams earn four points for a win in the Test, with two points for a win in all limited-overs games.

England won on their last trip to Australia in 2013-14, but were beaten at home in 2015.

They have since won the World Cup on home soil and replaced Australia as the number one side in the world ODI rankings.

“We’ve been trying to catch the world number ones and have maybe been a bit of a an underdog, but that has changed slightly,” Knight told BBC Sport.

“Now we’re the hunted, but it won’t change how we approach our cricket.”

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The first two one-day internationals are in Brisbane, where England have had both of their warm-up games abandoned because of rain.

“It’s been a little bit frustrating – four days of solid rain is not what you expect when you come to Australia,” added all-rounder Knight, 26.

Australia skipper Lanning, the number one ranked batter in ODIs, misses the entire series because of a shoulder injury.

In her absence, the hosts will be led by Rachael Haynes, a batter who has only played three internationals since 2013.

In order to rally the home side, Cricket Australia has released a promotional video featuring 11 “inspirational Aussies” under the hashtag #beatEngland.

It includes Olympic 400m gold medal winner Cathy Freeman, Paralympian Jessica Smith and Jessica Watson, the youngest person to sail solo and unassisted around the world.

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At the end, Haynes says “it’s now our time to beat England”.

England batter Fran Wilson said the campaign is “quite funny”.

She added: “We’re just concentrating on what we want to do. We’ll ignore anything that the Aussies do to try to throw us off track.”

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