Nat Sciver resumes England Women’s vice-captaincy

Nat Sciver will resume as England Women’s vice-captain in the lead-up to next month’s T20 World Cup in South Africa.

Sciver took a mental health break last September and did not return to her position as Heather Knight’s deputy during her comeback in the Caribbean, saying she wanted to use that tour “to get back to enjoying my cricket and being able to express myself on the pitch, as I have done in the past”.

She did that, with scores of 90, 5 and 85 in her first three outings after returning to the side, finishing as the top run-scorer when England swept West Indies aside 3-0 in their ODI series. During that time, Sciver remained part of the team’s off-field leadership group, with Knight, acting deputy Amy Jones and senior spinner Sophie Ecclestone.

Jones, meanwhile, had made it clear while standing in as captain for home white-ball series against India, while Knight was recovering from hip surgery and Sciver remained out of the game, that she did not covet the captaincy long-term.

The ECB announced announced on Wednesday that Sciver was returning to the vice-captaincy and Sciver subsequently tweeted: “I’m glad to be in a better place to get back to being vice-captain! And can’t wait to get back on the pitch with everyone.”

She scored 1346 runs and took 22 wickets for England across formats – including 148 not out from 121 balls in the ODI World Cup final. She also scored an unbeaten century in England’s first match of the tournament, also against Australia.

That preceded a multi-format home series against South Africa and a disappointing fourth-placed finish for the host nation at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, with Sciver captaining the side, shortly after which she stepped away from the game citing emotional fatigue.

Sciver will resume the vice-captaincy again ahead of three warm-up matches against New Zealand in South Africa as both sides fine-tune their T20 World Cup preparations, although she may not play in all of those, being unofficial T20Is. England will also play official ICC warm-up fixtures against South Africa and New Zealand before the tournament begins on February 10.

The host nation takes on Sri Lanka in Cape Town in the opening match of the T20 World Cup, while England’s first game will be against West Indies in an afternoon game the following day at Paarl, where Australia will play New Zealand in the evening.


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