Heather Knight column: Women's Ashes defeat 'absolutely gutting'

Heather Knight

England vice-captain Heather Knight has been writing a series of columns during the summer's multi-format Women's Ashes series. Here, she reflects on Australia's 10-6 win - and looks ahead to another winter down under.

The Women's Ashes have gone and there's no way to describe it apart from absolutely gutting. We haven't done ourselves justice.

When we met up together as a group after the Test match, ready for the switch to Twenty20 cricket, there was a real belief and focus around the squad.

We knew it would be tough, but we also knew that if we took each game at a time, we could win all three T20 internationals to tie the series 8-8 on points and retain the Women's Ashes.

Australia celebrate after regaining the Women's Ashes
Australia made sure of regaining the Women's Ashes with one game to spare in the multi-format series

'Australia won the key moments'

Despite winning the first T20 at "Fortress Chelmsford", unfortunately it wasn't to be. We let ourselves down on the batting front to lose the second encounter at Hove and with it the Women's Ashes. The way we lost was tough to take, but credit to Australia who have been more consistent and won the key moments across the whole of the summer.

Before the final match in Cardiff, we wanted to finish on a high and win the T20 part of the series 2-1. It was a small consolation, but it was good to end the series with a win, particularly with the ICC Women's World Twenty20 coming up in India in March.

We have played some good cricket at times, and when we have played to our potential we have more than matched the Australians. We just haven't done it consistently enough, particularly with the bat.

But in the past I've definitely learned the most from tough losses and I'm sure this series will be no different. I have no doubt we'll be a stronger unit after this summer and we'll be hungry to work even harder leading into a big year of international cricket for us in 2016.

Where the Women's Ashes was won and lost
DateGameVenueWinnerPts available
21 Jul1st ODITauntonEng (4 wkts)2 (Eng 2-0)
23 Jul2nd ODIBristolAus (63 runs)2 (2-2)
26 Jul3rd ODIWorcesterAus (89 runs)2 (Aus 4-2)
11-14 AugTestCanterburyAus (161 runs)4 (Aus 8-2)
26 Aug1st T20ChelmsfordEng (7 wkts)2 (Aus 8-4)
28 Aug2nd T20HoveAus (20 runs)2 (Aus 10-4)
31 Aug3rd T20CardiffEng (5 wkts)2 (Aus 10-6)
Andy Flower
Flower has worked with the England Lions and performance squads since stepping down as the men's team director in early 2014

Picking Flower's brain

During our T20 training camp at the National Cricket Performance Centreexternal-link in Loughborough, ex-England men's coach Andy Flower kindly popped in to have an informal chat with us. It was brilliant to pick his brain on his career, as both a world-class cricketer and as a coach.

One thing that really struck me was when he talked about how lucky we are as cricketers - to be able to put ourselves out there in pressure situations day in, day out.

It's exciting as it's an unprecedented time for the women's game at the moment and the amount of coverage we've received - win or lose - is new to all of us. We should all be massively excited about where the game can go in the next few years.

Lydia Greenway and Heather knight celebrate after England win in Cardiff
Knight was at the crease when Lydia Greenway (left) hit the winning runs in England's consolation victory in Cardiff

Another winter down under

We have a bit of time off now to recharge the batteries after a long summer. A number of us are also going down under to Australia later in the year, and having played for Tasmania last winter, I'm really excited to head back there to play for Hobart Hurricanesexternal-link in the inaugural Women's Big Bash League.

We managed to have a drink with a few of the Australian girls after the series was finished and there was a huge amount of excitement flying around for the WBBL, which starts on 5 December.

Finally, I want to massively thank everyone who has supported us this summer, whether in person at the grounds or by watching and listening on Sky Sports and BBC radio.

The crowds have absolutely blown us away this summer and really have been a 12th man for us, we can't thank you enough. We'll be back and we'll be better for it.

Read more from Knight's previous columns
Shorter pitches? Lighter balls? No thanks
How do cricketers cope during rain delays?

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