Women's Sport Week 2017: Heather Knight relishes Women's World Cup after moon boot adventures

England cricket captain Heather Knight
ICC Women's World Cup 2017
Venues: Bristol, Derby, Leicester, Taunton, Lord's Dates: 24 June - 23 July
Coverage: Ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on all England matches and selected others; in-play highlights on the BBC Sport website
Click here for full fixtures, a list of warm-up games and squad lists

To mark Women's Sport Week 2017, England captain and regular BBC Sport columnist Heather Knight looks ahead to the Women's World Cup - having battled back from injury in time to lead the side out.

It's been a funny old six weeks for me since we got back from our pre-season training camp in Abu Dhabi. I've filmed a cinema advert, been a model on a catwalk (more Zoolander than Kate Moss), gone back to school and done most of it with a moon boot and crutches!

Injured in Abu Dhabi

As the Abu Dhabi tour went on, I had a bit of a niggly foot. On returning home, the "precautionary" scan revealed a stress fracture in my fifth metatarsal. It was definitely a bit of a shock to find out I'd been playing for two weeks with a broken hoof! Cue many references to David Beckham and Wayne Rooney, who had similar injuries leading up to football World Cups - let's hope we're a bit more successful than those World Cup campaigns.

It wasn't ideal timing in terms of my World Cup preparation, but a forced break isn't necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes a bit of mental freshness can do the world of good, even if it is forced.

Heather Knight - on crutches with a moon boot

It meant I had two weeks in a moon boot and on crutches (see above) before a very gradual return to batting and training. It's something we'll have to continually manage, but I'm pretty much back to full fitness now.

It wasn't a nice feeling thinking I might miss out on the World Cup and that I might not be out there alongside the girls fighting for that trophy, but injury is part and parcel of sport sometimes, and I was super lucky we found it when we did - credit to our brilliant medical team.

Often, injury can be as mentally tough to deal with as the physical injury itself and I'm not the best at resting and being told what I can and can't do.

But it's great to be back to pretty much full fitness again, and I'll be more than ready to be out there with the girls for the tournament opener on 24 June. What better way to kick it off than in front of a packed house against India at Derby?

Heather Knight at Hague Primary School

Have moon boot, will travel

Being injured, I had a bit more time on my hands and I managed to make it along to the International Cricket Council's Cricket for Good launch. Along with Chance to Shine and Unicef, they have created a school teaching resource to help teach key messages about child rights through cricket-themed lessons.

I even got to sit in on a year five lesson at Hague Primary School in Bethnal Green, which rolled back the years. The chairs are a lot smaller than I remember! The teaching resource is available to anyone online, so if you're a teacher reading this, do get involved.

Heather Knight at the England kit launch
Heather joined fellow national captains Eoin Morgan and Joe Root at the launch of England's new kit

It was a busy few weeks with the Kia Super League launch down in Brighton [crutching around on pebbles is not something I'd recommend - thanks to Dani Hazell for the piggybacks!], the new England kit launch that unfortunately involved navigating a catwalk, and some filming alongside the girls for our #GoBoldly World Cup promotional campaign.

The video looks great and we can't wait to see it on the big screen. It'll be at a location near you, so go and check us out.

We also visited Rainbows Hospice in Loughborough, which provides end-of-life care for young people and offers invaluable support to their families. You can get wrapped up in sport sometimes and forget that it's not a matter of life and death, so Rainbows Hospice offered some amazing perspective. They really do the most inspiring work.

England's players and coaches visit the Rainbows Hospice
The England squad, who train in Loughborough, visited the town's Rainbows Hospice

From England captain to club cricket scorer

When you're on crutches you're a much easier target for people to corner you - you can't get up and walk or run away! So after going along to a club game to watch my boyfriend play at Hanham Cricket Club, there wasn't much I could do when I was asked to score.

It took me right back to the days when I occasionally used to score as a youngster for a free tea and a fiver. I don't think I'm cut out to be a scorer - I missed one run that I frustratingly couldn't find anywhere, I got stick for not using coloured pens and I'm still waiting on that fiver!

It might be another few years before I get back in the score hut again, although the cricket tea was a dream (unsurprisingly, we don't get scones at international matches).

Heather Knight takes over the scorebook

'The most visible Women's World Cup ever'

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England not thinking about money - Knight

It's been great to get back to pretty much normal training duties with the ICC Women's World Cup fast approaching. I've no doubt that this summer's tournament is going to be the most high profile and the most visible Women's World Cup ever, and what better place to host it than in England?

It's lovely as well that this week is Women's Sport Week. We want to raise the profile of cricket and inspire youngsters to pick up bats - this is a great chance to do that and to shine a spotlight on women's sport.

To be able to lead the team out on home soil is going to be special, and as a group the excitement is starting to build as the tournament gets very close. It will be a great test of where we're at as a team and we may not be favourites, but there's no question that we're there to get our hands on the trophy.

There will be in-play video highlights of the Women's World Cup on the BBC Sport website, with ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on all of England's games and selected others. After the World Cup, BBC Radio will have increased coverage of the Super League, with commentaries on every round of games - and you can read more BBC columns from Heather during the summer.

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