Gunn-ing for victory

This summer will mark Jenny Gunn’s 15th in an England shirt but the Nottinghamshire all-rounder knows she still has a lot to offer.

Recalled to the squad after being rested for the tours of India and Sri Lanka, the absence of Georgia Elwiss through injury has opened up a space for Gunn and Thursday may well see her back in an England shirt in Leicester, almost a year since playing her last international game.

For Gunn, there’s a real determination to prove it’s the right call and to demonstrate that there’s plenty of life in her yet.

“I’m really excited,” she said. “It was quite strange not being on the tours of India and Sri Lanka but I felt I needed some time out of the game. I haven’t missed a tour for 15 years but coming back I feel like I’ve got that fight again.

“I feel like a kid at Christmas. I never thought it would happen again, and I want to keep pushing the kids. I think there’s still a lot that they can learn and I’m really excited to be in that position. I can’t wait to hopefully play tomorrow.”

Gunn’s return comes off the back of a fine season in county cricket, after a late move back to her home county of Nottinghamshire. Runs and wickets followed as she helped guide her young county team to the safety of sixth position.

“It was a very late minute call to go to Nottinghamshire but I really enjoyed it. I had that determination to enjoy myself and push the team forward. You never know when your last game of cricket might be so I’m just going to really enjoy my cricket and play with a smile on my face, something that my dad has always said.”

While her first aim may be to get in Mark Robinson’s first XI for tomorrow’s opening ODI against West Indies at the Fischer County Ground, the rest of the summer – and the Women’s Ashes – provides a longer-term goal.

“My goal coming back was to get in the squad and I’ve done that,” Gunn explained. “Now I just want to do everything that I can to get into the XI. We’ve got a strong group and it will be competitive, everyone’s in form and fighting for their place. The Ashes will be massive, it’s probably one thing the Aussies have got over us at the minute and we want to win them back.”

Cricket at the highest level is increasingly, in the eyes of many, a young person’s game but the 33-year-old believes her experience and know-how can be a massive asset to Heather Knight’s team this summer.

“I’m going to keep fighting as long as possible. Even though I’m 33 – and yes, Katherine [Brunt] is older! – I still feel young. Age is just a number and we’ve got such great backroom staff who help keep us in shape and I feel great. I can’t wait to hopefully get out there and help us win the series.”

England (from 15): Heather Knight (Berkshire, captain), Tammy Beaumont (Kent), Katherine Brunt (Yorkshire), Kate Cross (Lancashire), Sophie Ecclestone (Lancashire), Alex Hartley (Lancashire), Jenny Gunn (Nottinghamshire), Amy Jones (Warwickshire), Laura Marsh (Kent), Nat Sciver (Surrey), Anya Shrubsole (Berkshire), Sarah Taylor (Sussex, wicketkeeper), Fran Wilson (Kent), Lauren Winfield (Yorkshire), Danni Wyatt (Sussex).

* Tickets are available for the England v West Indies game at the Fischer County Ground at advanced prices until midnight on Wednesday HERE. Remaining tickets will then be available at the full price on the gates from 12.30pm. 

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