England Women’s Katherine Brunt on relationship with Nat Sciver, their ‘would-have-been wedding’, and retirement
What do you do when a bells-and-whistles wedding is postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic? You stage a ‘would-have-been’ one, of course.
That was what the England Women squad arranged for team-mates Katherine Brunt and Nat Sciver during the T20I series at home to West Indies in September after the pair opted to delay their actual big day due to the Covid outbreak limiting the number of guests allowed at weddings.
The substitute nuptials did not feel the same for Brunt – but she eventually appreciated the efforts her long-time colleagues had gone to.
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Speaking to Sky Sports for International Women’s Day, Brunt said: “I was actually really mortified those pictures made the national press.
“We had a fair few comments saying, ‘well done, congratulations on the day’. I thought, ‘do you really think I would get married in my training kit with a veil and a sash around my waist?!’
“It was actually really brilliant and quite emotional, as it was a sad day. Danni Wyatt was really cute – she was like, ‘happy would-have-been wedding day!’ I was like, ‘no, Dan, I am actually really sad’.
“The [girls] made it a lot better. They did a fun little treasure hunt and gave us a nice bottle of pink champagne. I should ‘not get married’ every day!”
Brunt’s affection for her team-mates is evident – England wicketkeeper Amy Jones will be her maid of honour when she and Sciver officially tie the knot, while a host of other players will also attend.
The 35-year-old says her relationship with Sciver has never caused any issues within the dressing room and is grateful for the fact she has always been made to feel welcome.
I am rather annoying and impatient and easily frustrated. I bring all my cricket annoyances and worries back to the room and throw them on Natalie. Luckily she is the most patient, the most tolerant person I have ever met. Well done me – and really sorry, Natalie!
Katherine Brunt speaking about Nat Sciver
Brunt said: “I can’t speak for any other team except for the one I’ve been in for nearly 18 years but I’ve never, ever been made to feel like I didn’t belong or who I am isn’t OK.
“I think that’s what’s been really special about this group of girls and this environment – everyone is very supportive and happy for everyone no matter what.
“That is one of the most important things to feel like in life. That you can be yourself, be included, be loved, be special. That’s how I have felt my whole career. I’ve never once felt that I couldn’t be open and honest about who I am and who I’m with.”
Brunt says being with Sciver during the pandemic has brought them closer together: “It’s testament to our relationship and enhanced the fact we are meant to be together.”
The all-rounders were part of England’s recent ODI and T20I series wins in New Zealand and will also link up on the field for Trent Rockets in the inaugural edition of The Hundred this summer.
But their time as team-mates could be coming to a close sooner rather than later, with Brunt readily admitting that she is thinking about life after the game.
The 35-year-old, who has battled a long-standing back injury, has ventured into the world of property development and will focus on that full time once her playing career ends – not that she is quite done taking wickets and scoring runs just yet.
I think that is important for all athletes. What I always encourage all my team-mates and friends to do is secure your life after cricket and find your identity away from here. It is one of the most difficult things you will do when you have been in this environment for so long.
Katherine Brunt on planning for life after cricket
Asked whether she is contemplating retirement, Brunt said: “I have probably been doing that since my second surgery about seven years ago! It’s never too far from my mind, it’s always something I think about.
“Mainly that’s because I have finally found a passion that I love as much as playing cricket for England. That is the best thing ever and at the minute, it is pulling me away from the game.
“I am so keen to get stuck into that but still keen to be here and play for England. I am always wondering when the best time is, but the more I do that, I realise there is no good time.
“I think I will always love it and always want to help my mates out, be here and be in this environment. Why wouldn’t I?
“For as long as I’m able and doing it to a good enough standard where I’m not embarrassing myself, I probably will carry on. I don’t know, we’ll see.”
Brunt will definitely be carrying on for this season’s Hundred, which gets underway with a women’s game on July 21 as Oval Invincibles take on Manchester Originals.
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It’s huge. It’s probably not something we expected so we feel privileged to have that limelight. Hopefully we can start the competition off with a bang and get people really excited for the rest of it.
Katherine Brunt on The Hundred launching with a women’s game
Rockets begin their campaign against Southern Brave on July 24, with Brunt and Sciver’s team-mates including England spinner Sarah Glenn and Australia trio Sophie Molineux, Ellyse Villani, and Annabel Sutherland.
Brunt added: “[Having big names] is essential, in my opinion. It’s one of the things that makes it so appealing. People from England will enjoy watching English people play within the competition but to gain traction around the world, we need to include players from around the world.
“Being able to dip in and take the best players makes the competition what it is – one of the best domestic competitions there is. It makes the standard of cricket great for us in terms of the lead-up to international series and World Cups and so on.
“I am looking forward to being part of it – I am not going to be part of much for much longer! I am really happy to be part of the start of this next phase of cricket, I guess, and the way it’s going but also to see how it unfolds and what it looks like. “
Hear more from Brunt, as well as Sciver, by watching the YouTube video at the top of the page.
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