Knight de­lighted with Wis­den’s recog­ni­tion

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - SPORT -

ENG­LAND cap­tain Heather Knight feels pay par­ity be­tween male and fe­male crick­eters re­mains a “long way off ” despite Wis­den’s his­toric recog­ni­tion of the women’s game.

Knight and her fel­low World Cup win­ners Natalie Sciver and Anya Shrub­sole were this week named among Wis­den’s five Crick­eters of the Year af­ter a trans­for­ma­tive 2017 for women’s cricket.

Shrub­sole also be­came the first woman to grace the cover of the Almanack in its 155th edi­tion in the wake of the Eng­landIn­dia World Cup fi­nal gain­ing a peak tele­vi­sion au­di­ence of 1.1m view­ers.

But asked about the is­sue of pay par­ity, Knight said: “I still think it’s a long way off.

“It’s im­por­tant to re­alise that women’s cricket has only been pro­fes­sional for three years, for us espe­cially. It is in its in­fancy of be­ing a pro­fes­sional sport.

“The men’s game was the same when it went pro­fes­sional all those years ago and it takes a lot of time for things to de­velop.

“We ac­cept at the mo­ment we haven’t got the same com­mer­cial value as the men. But there’s no rea­son why the women’s game can’t keep grow­ing and hope­fully it will even­tu­ally catch up with the men.”

Only two fe­males – Claire Tay­lor and Char­lotte Ed­wards, Knight’s im­me­di­ate pre­de­ces­sor as Eng­land cap­tain – had pre­vi­ously been named Wis­den Crick­eters of the Year since its in­cep­tion in the Almanack in 1889.

But Knight is con­fi­dent that the mas­sive strides made by women’s cricket will con­tinue.

“You never think as a kid you’re go­ing to play at Lord’s, let alone in front of a full crowd,” Knight said.

“It (Wis­den recog­ni­tion) is a show of how spe­cial last sum­mer was for the team, to have three fe­male crick­eters recog­nised in the five crick­eters of the year is amaz­ing.”

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