Issy Wong working with England bowling coach Matt Mason in bid to return to form

By Sports Desk September 03, 2023

Issy Wong has been backed to return to her best with the help of England bowling coach Matt Mason after struggling on her first international appearance of the summer.

Wong was recalled by England skipper Heather Knight for Saturday’s second T20 in the three-match series with Sri Lanka at Chelmsford and while she contributed towards a 33-run partnership with Charlie Dean, she experienced difficulties with the ball.

Three no-balls were sent down during Wong’s first over and she finished with figures of nought for 24 off two overs with Sri Lanka chasing down a target of 105 with 40 deliveries to spare.

Knight, after facing several questions post-match about the selection of the 21-year-old, said: “Matt Mason is working pretty closely with Issy around getting her back to where we know she can be.

“We wanted to get a bit of context around where she is at and Issy wanted some context around where she is at in terms of us playing her.

“She had a couple of really good training sessions and felt in a really good place but she is learning. She has obviously struggled for rhythm this summer and my role is to keep backing her.

“We know what sort of cricketer she can be, which is why we have backed her when she has been struggling.

“Yeah, a tough day and sometimes when you are exposed to it in that pressure situation it can make it tough, but she is a pretty resilient character. She is a positive person so I don’t think it will affect her too much.”

Wong has been conspicuous by her absence all summer throughout an enthralling Women’s Ashes where she sat out all seven matches of the multi-format series.

She initially burst onto the international scene last summer following an exciting 12 months where she caught the eye in the 2021 edition of The Hundred before starring in the Women’s Big Bash later that year.

It led to key roles in England’s unsuccessful pursuit of gold at the home Commonwealth Games along with appearances in all formats for her country during 2022, but despite taking a hat-trick in the inaugural Women’s Premier League in India, she has largely carried the drinks in recent months.

Wong was even used sparingly by Birmingham Phoenix during The Hundred in August and her showing at Chelmsford highlighted her struggles after she overstepped three times during a 10-ball first over while a surprise return into the attack later resulted in a second over littered with poor deliveries.

Knight, who hinted at Wong receiving unhelpful advice on the domestic scene, revealed England’s plan of action for the fast bowler following Saturday’s humbling defeat in Essex.

 

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“She has been given five balls at a time in The Hundred and hasn’t had a chance to come back from spells. I guess that’s probably put a lot of pressure on her starting and how she starts,” Knight pointed out.

“As a captain, I am always someone that wants to back players and bring them in. We played her to get some context over where she is at and I wanted to bowl her again.

“I think she has been struggling a little bit for rhythm all summer and then she’s been trying a few things, listening to a lot of different voices, which has probably led to her run-up issues because she didn’t really have those earlier in the summer.

“Issy does have a clear plan over the next month about what she will do with Matt Mason, who is an outstanding bowling coach. They will work very closely to try get Issy to a place where she needs to be.”

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