The four-week Cricket World Cup starts today. Here, England opener Tammy Beaumont gives an insider’s view of the tournament in the first of her regular blogs
It’s been a long journey from helping Mum make the teas at my dad’s cricket club to preparing for the first home World Cup in nearly quarter of a century. If we could make the final at Lord’s in four weeks’ time a sell-out – with us in it, of course – that really would be the icing on one of those cakes we put out for the men all those years ago.
Lord’s is obviously steeped in history and folklore, though that didn’t include women until relatively recently. I think this tournament will show just how far the women’s game has come in such a short space of time and especially when the showpiece match is played there on July 23. It was only in 1999, after all, that women were finally allowed into the Pavilion; now we will actually be playing out in the middle.
We start our collective journey, which hopefully will end at cricket’s HQ, when we play India at Derby today in the first of seven group games that lead to the semi-finals.
I’ve gone through many of the emotions you’d expect considering we’re about to play in the biggest tournament of our lives. Last week I was pretty nervous, particularly when it started to get real with packing everything up to hit the road. The last few days we’ve been playing some warm-up games, but there’ll definitely be some nerves around today. Hopefully we’ll settle quickly into the competition.
Once we get going, we’ll be looking to impose our exciting style of play on the games, looking to get on the front foot and dominate from the first ball to the last.
The tournament promises to be quite a spectacle. I find it quite enjoyable with the crowd and the music. It’s actually less distracting now than when I was always worrying our dogs would run on to the pitch. I don’t normally tend to think about the TV audience when I’m out there, at least not until the time they replayed my attempted diving stop which resulted in a face plant!
Behind the scenes, we all generally get on really well, particularly the four girls who live together! Spinner Danni Wyatt is the biggest social media nut: she’s always on Twitter or Instagram. Our biggest pranksters are Laura Marsh and Heather Knight, which is perhaps a little surprising as she is the captain and you’d expect her to lead by example. As for me, I’m one of the loud ones.
My cricket career moved on quickly from laying out the sandwiches on a Saturday afternoon. By the age of eight I was playing in hard-ball games for my brother’s under-11 team. He was great – he looked out for me when the other boys made jokes about our team having a girl playing. My love affair with the game grew from there.
Mum still tells the embarrassing story of the nine-year-old me telling one of my dad’s team-mates that one day I was going to play for England. They’re not laughing now! But back then I probably thought there was only an England men’s team! I know differently now – and hopefully after this month-long tournament, so will a few more.
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Article by Tammy Beaumont. Tammy’s latest articles.