England bowler Anya Shrubsole has admitted to thinking about the Melbourne finale and a Katy Perry concert as she prepares for the Women’s T20 World Cup semi-final.
Group A winners India were confirmed as England’s last-four opponents on Thursday after the South Africa-West Indies group match was abandoned due to heavy rain without a ball being bowled.
The Sydney washout on Tuesday meant both sides had to settle for a point, and saw South Africa climb ahead of England to top Group B and secure a semi-final date with reigning champions Australia.
India won all four group matches to reach the knockout stages and present a formidable barrier to England reaching Sunday’s final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
But Shrubsole, staying clear of a familiar sporting message that says the focus has to be on the next game alone, said she has considered the showpiece occasion, which includes pop star Perry performing live at a sold-out MCG both before and after the match.
“I think most people will probably have thought about (playing in the final at the MCG) and it’s in the back of their minds somewhere,” Shrubsole told Sky Sports.
“I don’t think you’re human if you haven’t thought about what’s at the end of the road.
“We’re going to have to be at our very best to make it to the MCG and a Katy Perry concert!”
This is the sixth time in the seven editions of the T20 World Cup that England have reached the last four, with the team going on to win the inaugural tournament in 2009 before finishing runners-up to Australia in 2012, 2014 and 2018.
England lost their opening game of the tournament to South Africa by six wickets.
But Heather Knight’s side reached the semi-final with convincing victories over Thailand, Pakistan and the West Indies.
“After losing the first game, every game kind of became knockout cricket so it’s good to know that we’re performing well under the pressure and I think we’re really growing into the tournament,” Shrubsole said.
“I would say the last game was our best game yet. I think as a bowling group we’re going really well.
“The spinners are doing an awesome job in the middle – Sophie (Ecclestone), Sarah Glenn and Mady (Villiers) coming in are really putting the squeeze on those middle overs and getting us ahead of the game.”
England’s prospects could be ruined by the weather with heavy rain forecast in Sydney over the coming days.
There is no reserve day scheduled for the semi-finals at the Sydney Cricket Ground and England and Australia, as group runners-up, would be eliminated if no play was possible.
In the semi-finals, a minimum of 10 overs per side is required to constitute a game, up from five overs that was needed for a match to be completed in the group stage of the competition.
A reserve day has been scheduled for the final in case of rain.
If the reserve day is washed out, the two finalists will share the trophy and be declared joint winners.