Wyatt ready to take NZ tour chance

Danni Wyatt played in four of England’s five T20 internationals against West Indies in September

Danni Wyatt says everyone in the England squad is grateful for the chance to tour New Zealand next month.

Wyatt, 29, is part of the 16-strong squad that departs on Sunday to play three one-day internationals and three Twenty20s in February and March.

“It’s been nearly a year since our last tour,” she told BBC South Today. “It’s a huge year ahead with the World Cup also in New Zealand next year.”

The whole squad will quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in New Zealand.

Southern Vipers player Wyatt is looking forward to a first 50-over series for England in more than a year and to make up for lost time after a 2020 season disrupted by Covid-19.

“Normally I’d play about 60 matches in a year, but I think last year I played something like just eight or nine with everything that was happening,” she said.

“But we’ve spoken as a squad in recent weeks during our preparation that we’re really going to take this chance in New Zealand and enjoy it as we don’t know what’s coming next.”

Wyatt will spend the first seven days upon arrival confined to her hotel room before being allowed to train with her team-mates in small groups for the next seven days.

Warm-up matches are scheduled on 14 and 16 February in Queenstown before the ODI series starts on 23 February in Christchurch.

“It’s pretty different to how we’d prepare normally,” she said. “But we have to be thankful we can still train and work together as a squad in these times.

“Officials both here and in New Zealand have been working incredibly hard behind the scenes in recent months to make sure this tour can happen.

“The coaching staff at Loughborough have also done an incredible job to make sure everyone gets the most out of every session we’ve done in recent weeks.

“Once we’re hopefully all safely out of quarantine and out on the field in Queenstown, I think we’re going to enjoy every day of those six weeks out there.

“The chance to play in front of crowds again is going to be very special. The Twenty20 internationals are all double-headers with the men’s fixtures between New Zealand and Australia so the atmosphere for them should be very special.”

England squad for tour of New Zealand: Heather Knight (capt), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Kate Cross, Freya Davies, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Georgia Elwiss, Tash Farrant, Sarah Glenn, Amy Jones (wk), Nat Sciver (vice-capt), Mady Villiers, Fran Wilson, Lauren Winfield-Hill, Danni Wyatt.