England's Nat Sciver hits back at Greg Barclay after comments

‘It’s not how we feel as a team’: England vice-captain Nat Sciver hits back at Greg Barclay after the ICC chairman slammed women’s Test cricket and claimed it was ‘not part of the landscape moving forward’

  • England’s Nat Sciver has reacted to ICC chairman’s Greg Barclay’s comments
  • He claimed women’s test matches ‘are not part of the landscape moving forward’
  • Sciver said the England team don’t agree and will always want to play Tests
  • She was speaking ahead of England’s LV= Insurance Test against South Africa 

Nat Sciver has stressed the importance of women’s Test matches as England prepare to take on South Africa in Taunton tomorrow – despite the insistence of ICC chairman Greg Barclay that they are ‘not part of the landscape moving forward’.

Barclay’s recent comments have infuriated the women’s cricket community, with England’s captain and coach, Heather Knight and Lisa Keightley, among the prominent voices expressing their disappointment.

Now vice-captain Sciver has joined the chorus ahead of England’s third Test in 12 months, following games against India and Australia – where No 11 Kate Cross played out a maiden to secure a thrilling draw.

Nat Sciver has questioned Greg Barclay’s comments after his criticism of women’s cricket

Sciver was part of England’s showpiece test against Australia at Canberra in January

Asked about Barclay’s comments, Sciver told the Mail on Sunday: ‘It was a bit of a surprise, considering our most recent Test in Canberra was played the way it was. If anything, you’d have thought that would keep the format going.

‘It’s not how we feel as a team. Any chance we get to play a Test, we’ll take it. When we watch men’s Tests, that’s where the biggest memories are.’

Barclay also suggested women’s Test cricket was ‘not evolving at any particular speed’, further fuelling England’s determination to put on a good show over the next four days – the start of a multi-format series that also includes three one-day and three T20 internationals against a South African side they recently beat in the 50-over World Cup semi-final.

Sciver scored 15 and 58 in the Canberra test match as England almost made history

Sciver, who ahead of LV= Insurance Test joined James Anderson, Mark Wood, Steve Harmison and Isa Guha and others to surprise Leicester Electricity CC as umpires, coach, scorer and tea server, will take the field without her wife, Katherine Brunt, who recently announced her retirement from the Test format.

Brunt, who tied the knot with Sciver at the end of May, has been in Taunton for the build-up to share her experience with a new-look England team. But her on-field absence will change the dynamic.

‘She’ll be there watching, but it will be weird not having her out there,’ says Sciver. ‘When she does retire from the other formats, it will be a whole different story for me, and maybe even a reset.

‘She’ll probably still shout at me, but that’s because she cares deeply. I’ll get the same feedback, and it will always be for the right reasons.’

Sciver surprised Leicester Electricity CC ahead of the LV= Insurance Test against South Africa

The all-rounder is ready to take on extra responsibility in a new-look England side

With both Brunt and her former new-ball partner Anya Shrubsole – who retired from international cricket in April – unavailable, Sciver says she will relish the extra responsibility with the ball.

And while women’s cricket has no Test rankings, she wants to use the South Africa series to cement her status as the world’s No 1 all-rounder in the ODI game.

‘The rankings change after every series, so you can’t have a spell where you’re off your game. You spend years working up to be a consistent performer. You’re now the chased, rather than the chasing. But I want to stay there.’

LV= Insurance are supporting 4,000 grassroots coaches and 20,000 players through their #Funds4Runs community initiative. Visit https://www.lv.com/gi/cricket-funds4runs

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