Wong made her debut in all three formats during South Africa’s tour of England last summer and is hoping to be part of the England side kicking off their Ashes campaign in a five-day Test at Trent Bridge from June 22.
“I think it’s a pretty good time to play them, you know, just quietly,” Wong said. “They are undoubtably, in my opinion, one of the greatest sports teams in history, of any sport, of any gender. Their record over the last 10 years is absolutely outrageous.
“But it feels like that kind of golden era they’ve had is… you’ve had Rach Haynes retiring, [Meg] Lanning stepping away, obviously coming back in ridiculous form, but there’s a lot of new faces in that group that are unbelievably talented but haven’t necessarily played the biggest part for them over the last couple of years. I think it’s a really good time to actually go at them and say, ‘right, you are the best team in history, but you’ve a couple of new faces in here and let’s see if you’re as good as you were five years ago.’ I think it’s great time to play.
“I’ve never played them though,” she added, bursting into laughter. “I’ve watched them on the telly a lot, they look great.”
Part of her reasoning about the Australians relates to her experience in India, having played against a number of her potential Ashes foes there, believing that also playing with and against them at the WBBL and in the Hundred – where she will again represent Birmingham Phoenix when the 2023 edition commences in August – demystifies them somewhat.
“I’ve never played them but I don’t view them as ‘the Australians,'” Wong said. “They’re going to have Beth Mooney and Alyssa Healy opening the batting, Meg Lanning’s going to bat at three, then in that middle order you’re going to have [Tahlia] McGrath, [Phoenix team-mate Ellyse] Perry, [Grace] Harris. You’ve played against these guys so much that you get to know them and, not necessarily even know their games, but they’re humans at the end of the day and humans do good things and humans do bad things.
“That landscape changing, the more franchise stuff, is actually going to even out the playing field on an international level because people are playing against each other a lot more.
“People say, ‘Oh, don’t you think it’s going to make international cricket less good if David Warner’s best mates with Jonny Bairstow because they open the batting for Sunrisers Hyderabad?’ I think that’s rubbish because actually it’s going to make the competition a lot better. You’ve got these guys playing against people that they know and those are the best battles because each person’s having to adapt their game and do things a little bit differently. When they’ve played against each other a lot, they’re working each other out and that’s how the game is evolving.”
Asked whether now was a good time for her to play against the Australians in the Ashes personally, Wong responded: “My opinion, yeah. I also think it’s a great time for me to play up front for Liverpool. Does Jurgen Klopp share that opinion? No. There’s some things that you’ve got power over there’s some things that you don’t. I’m always going to be up for it, that’s my personality, but I’ve got to control those things that are in my control. I’m in control of if I’m up for it. I’m up for it. But you never know I guess.”
She sat out the most recent WBBL with a minor back complaint and amid ECB concerns over workload management before a quadriceps injury forced her to miss England’s tour of the Caribbean and therefore a chance to press for T20 World Cup selection in front of new coach Jon Lewis. In terms of the WPL providing a platform to prove a point after her omission, Wong agreed that it did, although not in the way one might expect.
“They picked their squad and unfortunately for me this time I wasn’t in those plans,” Wong said. “I probably had a half-hour of sulking, or not sulking but feeling sorry for myself, licking my wounds, then I had to get up and go to training. So there’s not a whole lot I can do about it now and that period before the WPL I had probably three weeks at home where I could put in some good yards, come on a bit in training hopefully and then fly out to India.
“I was keen to show the progress I’d made, not necessarily that I should have been out there because if I’d picked the squad, I’d have been out there and probably my 14 best mates would have been because that’s just how I’d pick the squad, isn’t it? But it was very much show the progress that I’d made over the last four months and hopefully the potential of progress that I’ve got for the future.”
Valkerie Baynes is a general editor, women’s cricket, at ESPNcricinfo
News Source: https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/issy-wong-england-womens-ashes-great-time-to-play-australia-1372569