Issy Wong is "super excited" by the next instalment of her memorable summer, coming "home" to Birmingham with the England squad in the Commonwealth Games.
England start their Games group programme against Sri Lanka at Edgbaston on Saturday evening and the Warwickshire pace bowler is right in the mix for selection having played in two of the three games in the recent T20I 3-0 series win over the South Africa.
The first match in that series, at Chelmsford, was Wong’s T20I debut, giving her the full set of representing in England in all three formats.
Now the Games beckon with the cricket at Edgbaston which has always been the 20-year-old’s cricketing home. It’s just the latest step in a memorable summer which still holds The Hundred ahead and has already brought her three England debuts, in ODI, Test and T20 cricket, in the space of 25 days.
“To make my Test debut was pretty special and to get the ODI and T20 debuts as well, the hat-trick, is amazing,” said Wong. “I am really proud and now it’s lovely to finally go home to Birmingham and get to play where it all started.
“If I am lucky enough to be selected, hopefully a lot of the people who helped me along the way can be there and be part of it. There are so many people at Warwickshire and Edgbaston and the Sparks without whom none of this would have happened.”
England start against Sri Lanka on Saturday (6pm), then face South Africa (next Tuesday 11am) and New Zealand (Thursday 6pm) for a place in the semi-finals on Saturday August 6th.
Wong is very excited by the challenge but also feels at ease with the pressures of representing her country.
“I do feel comfortable at this level,” she said. “I think I’ve done enough hard work over the last couple of years to trust what I can do now. Sometimes in the past I probably haven’t done the preparation and hard yards and that’s when I’ve felt out of my depth at times, but I know now that I have done all the hard work and can go out there and play with a smile on my face and back those skills that I have worked so hard to develop.
“We are playing some very exciting cricket at the moment but I still think we haven’t quite had the complete performance yet, so now we have a really exciting opportunity do that on a big stage. It will be really special if we can put it all together.
“After the first game on Saturday it’s pretty non-stop but that’s super exciting. These are the times you look forward to as a sportsperson, to be going from international series to Commonwealth Games to franchise competitions.”
The eyes of the nation will be on England’s team, so can they deliver gold? They will certainly go in with confidence high after the 3-0 series win over South Africa.
“That was a really special series,” said Wong. “With three of us debuting and a lot of people in roles they hadn’t done before, it was really nice for it all to come together and for us to get the results.
“It would be amazing to win the tournament but we know that nothing will be given away. We have to work hard in the group and then hopefully get through and keep playing good cricket and then who knows? We have done a lot of the hard work so now we can relax and enjoy playing our cricket in the right way.”