England all-rounder Danielle Wyatt is writing an exclusive blog from the Caribbean, where she is playing in the ICC Women's World Twenty20. Her first piece looks back on the preparation in Loughborough and the build-up to the opening matches.
"I arrived at the National Cricket Performance Centre last weekend thinking - 'Wow; I can’t believe I’m off to play in the ICC Women’s World Twenty20!' The team met up for a training weekend before we flew out to St Kitts.
"On arrival at Loughborough our first mission was to find all our new kit among the mounds of boxes. Everything I tried on fitted nicely, until I came to my presentation tracksuit trousers which said on the label size 10, but it was obviously a big miss print as both me and Sarah Taylor both managed to fit inside these pair of trousers!
"During the four days at Loughborough we played two Twenty20 games against the England Women’s Academy, had middle practice, one to one’s and media interviews. In the games everyone was striking the ball to perfection and running around like the clappers, you could see they were raring to get out to St Kitts! It was a pretty jam packed weekend, but great preparation and team bonding.
"The weekend went by in a flash and on Monday we headed south to Gatwick to board a big jumbo heading, destination St Kitts! I’m not the best flyer in the world and with the ash clouds in Iceland; you can imagine how eventful the eight hour journey was. I had Sarah Taylor slapping me in the face while taking off to take my mind off it, not sure who got the worse deal, her having to listen to me worrying, or me being slapped by her.
"We touched down in St Kitts and the sun was shining, not a cloud in sight. As soon as I walked out of the plane the heat just hit me. It’s a similar heat to India but a lot more humid. The first few days have been spent training at the Conaree cricket ground not far from the hotel. Everyone has been showing great energy, batters have been smashing the boundaries, bowlers have been hitting there areas and fielders have been throwing down the stumps. I was pleased to have a good bowl, managing to vary my pace and bowl to the set field; it was great to get some encouraging words form Jack (Birkinshaw) our Assistant Coach.
"Aside from the training, it’s amazing to be staying in such a fantastic hotel. I managed to catch a few rays of sunshine yesterday and had a dip in one of the three swimming pools; just what I needed after sweating a ridiculous amount in training.
"So, preparation time is coming to an end, we are all fit and fired up ready to defend our title. I for one now can’t wait for the tournament to get started, really hope I will get to play in the first warm up game on Sunday against India."
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