Tash Farrant’s absence from England’s series against India sparked a fire in her that has been visible to all since. Farrant was a member of England’s Test, ODI, and T20 squads for the multi-format series against India in June and July, but did not appear in any of the matches. With her left-arm seam and fielding prowess, she went on to become the Hundred’s leading wicket-taker, playing a critical role in the Oval Invincibles’ run to the title.
She took the crucial wicket of opener and captain Sophie Devine with the fourth ball she bowled in the first T20I against New Zealand, which England won convincingly, and broke a partnership approaching fifty between Amy Satterthwaite and Maddy Green when she caught the latter in spectacular fashion at deep backward square.
“I’m just really enjoying all the opportunities I’ve been getting,” Farrant said. “Starting the summer with the South East Stars and then missing out in that series against India, I just wanted to have a really good Hundred and was happy that I was able to do that and then, hopefully, take that confidence into this series.
“Playing on Wednesday night, it’s always special to play for England, so I just really loved it… I’ve got a bit of fire in my belly at the moment, having missed the India series, so hopefully if I get a few more opportunities, I just want to make the most of them.”
Farrant is well aware that opportunities can appear and vanish in the blink of an eye. Farrant was left out of the England squad that won the World Cup in 2017, despite being a centrally contracted player. In 2019, she lost her central contract, which only strengthened her resolve to make the most of her next opportunity.
It happened during England’s February and March tour of New Zealand, where she played two ODIs – her first in over seven years after making her debut in the West Indies in 2013 – and her first T20I appearance in nearly three years. This New Zealand tour, which includes three T20Is and five ODIs, has a familiar feel to it.