Sophie Ecclestone enjoying life in Australia ahead of Big Bash final |  “I peaked at the right time!”  |  Cricket news

Sophie Ecclestone enjoying life in Australia ahead of Big Bash final | “I peaked at the right time!” | Cricket news

Sophie Ecclestone got a taste of England on Wednesday night in Sydney as she watched Everton beat Western Sydney Wanderers 5-1 having already met Frank Lampard and the players last week – the comforts of home are important for a bowler who lives life on the road finds a challenge recently.

Ecclestone’s most recent experience with Australia has been much more enjoyable than the last – in early 2022, England were well beaten in the Women’s Ashes, going winless in seven matches in three formats as they went through yet another Covid bubble.

Now Ecclestone is preparing for a first Women’s Big Bash final in her debut campaign with the Sydney Sixers.

The Sixers, coached by former England captain Charlotte Edwards, dominated the group stage with 11 wins from 14 matches to earn a home final and Ecclestone contributed 18 wickets and some very useful runs.

Part of an all-star line-up that includes Australian greats Ellyse Perry and Alyssa Healy, the 23-year-old believes she will go into the final with some of her best cricketers.

“During the Ashes just gone I didn’t feel at my best at all to be honest, during the test match I didn’t bowl at my best at all and that’s the first time I’ve been in an international match where I’m unsure of my game. Ecclestone told Sky Sports News.

“I was in the nets every morning with the spin coach two hours before the game started bowling and I just kept bowling and bowling. I think now I know when to calm down or bowl a few overs, especially here when there are so many games that it’s nice to have a few days off from cricket.

“My spin coach Gareth Breese kept telling me ‘Soph, just calm down, just relax’, but I said, ‘we’re in the middle of an Ashes, I need to figure it out, and he told me to be gone for the day of cricket.and just leave and that’s the first time it’s actually happened i just went through a bad phase and that’s never happened to me before so it’s about working through it and being in the nets and don’t do too much, do quality, not quantity.

“This is the best I’ve bowled for a while, I peaked at the right time so hopefully I can go into the final on Saturday and take the win and I can go to the West Indies and brag to everyone that we’ve got the Big Bass won.”

Being number one in the world was a ‘long-term goal’

Ecclestone heads to the Caribbean with England ranked the world’s number one bowler in both ODI and T20s – taking 18 wickets across the two formats over the course of last summer.

She understands and accepts the pressure that comes with her high ranking, but believes the time she spends with the Sixers will only help her develop as a bowler.

“I think it’s really fun bowling to (Alyssa) Healy in the nets, that’s a good start because in a game it annoys me that when I bowl to her in a game she just whacks me all over and Ash Gardner too, it’s good to get to know them a little better and they know me too,” said Ecclestone.

“Being in the nets against top class players is great for my game going forward, being inside Loughborough would have been fine, but being out here, bowling outside in the nets in Australia, being ready for the next Ashes in two years, it’s a great experience to be here.

“A few years ago I said I would love to be number one in the world in five or ten years and literally two weeks later I became number one. It was so weird that it happened like this, it was a long time.” long-term goal that very often happened in the short term. But I just have to keep working on myself, doing the things I’ve been doing for ages, and always getting the basics right. “

England needed a ‘little freshening up’

England head to the West Indies for three ODIs and five T20s in new head coach Jon Lewis’ first tour after replacing Lisa Keightley.

The Australian’s final summer in charge included an agonizing fourth-place finish at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and was whitewashed by India in an ODI series.

The squad has been changing since England’s defeat to Australia in April’s World Cup final, Lewis has vowed to “take the hand break off” and Ecclestone is looking forward to working with her new boss.

“I’ve had a little bit of contact with him and it’s just something new for the team. We needed a little bit of a refresh in the team and in the squad and everyone is really excited to go to the West Indies for the World Cup next year Ecclestone said.

“I think it’s really exciting with the young players coming through now, we had the same team for a long time and now we have people like Freya Kemp, (Alice) Capsey coming in Wongy (Issy Wong), Belly (Lauren Bell) there are there are so many you can name, and it’s great to have these names around the squad, young talent coming through.

“It’s so much fun playing with people my age right now. I get along really well with everyone, of course, except for the new eras that are now dawning, and it’s really fun to watch.”

Watch the Big Bash League final live on Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Main Event from 8.10am.

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