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Defending the World Cup would be special, especially after the poor start : Heather Knight

Christchurch : England captain Heather Knight conceded on Saturday that a title triumph in the ICC Women’s World Cup against Australia at the Hagely Oval on Sunday would be extra special, given her side was on the brink of elimination after losing three opening group games in the tournament.England were virtually out of the competition following defeats to Australia, West Indies and South Africa, but wins against India, New Zealand, Pakistan and Bangladesh helped them book a place in the knockouts and set up a rematch of the 2017 semifinal with South Africa.Knight said that being defending champions and going on to lose the first three league games was hard to take.”I think winning will mean more after the start we had in this competition and being able to turn it around will be remarkable really, so that would make it even more special if we can do it tomorrow,” said the skipper during a virtual press conference organised by ICC on Saturday.

England have never won back-to-back World Cups but a win at Hagley Oval would see them achieve the feat at the fourth time of asking. “And back-to-back (titles), we have an opportunity to make history being the first England team to do that and that’s such an exciting thing.”Just being involved in World Cup finals is what you set your stall out as a player, what you try so hard for, what you want to be involved in, so there’s huge excitement in the group. We won’t think too much about it, as we saw in 2017 it’s all on the day. It’s a brand-new day, a brand-new game and a chance for us to go out and show what we can do,” added Knight.Knight said that while the early losses did rattle her side, the team’s calm approach helped it come through the remaining four must-win games to advance from the group stage.”I don’t think anyone will not be fired up for a World Cup final. It is what you dream of playing in, the games that are the most important in your career and the games that you want to enjoy and bring your best. I don’t think anyone will need firing up any more, it’s just trying to make sure everyone has clarity when they are under pressure.”That is one of the most important things, making sure that you go through the process and trying to execute what you do best as an individual,” added Knight.



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