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Nat Sciver-Brunt: Pregnancy in sport is uncharted territory

Nat Sciver-Brunt catching a ball in practice


England all-rounder Nat Sciver-Brunt believes pregnancy in sport is uncharted territory.

Sciver-Brunt revealed on the Under the Lid podcast – co-hosted by wife and former England international Katherine – that she missed England’s first IT20 match against Pakistan to undergo egg-freezing treatment.

The 31-year-old had the procedure in between the conclusion of England’s tour of New Zealand in April and the start of the Pakistan series in May and she believes it has sparked conversations within the England team.

Sciver-Brunt told the PA news agency: “It’s a bit of a weird procedure to go through, but one that I really wanted to do.

“I guess in terms of sharing it, even as an England side we don’t really talk about fertility and that sort of stuff that much.

Nat Sciver-Brunt catching a ball in practice

Sciver-Brunt missed the start of the Pakistan series (John Walton/PA)

“Actually just sparking conversations in our side has been really good. I didn’t really think about it for ages whilst I was playing – you’re playing cricket and then you’ll think about life afterwards, afterwards.

“I didn’t really have anything to hide, I just wanted to speak about it and have more people talking about it in international cricket.

“I think it’s important if people do want to start families. Not everyone will which is absolutely fine.

“There’s more people in the last year that I’ve heard about in different sports, that either their provision for families around women’s sport to have babies, or teams and clubs are doing everything they can so the person who’s had the baby – or their partner – has that peace of mind that they can head back to training or perform for the team or the club without having to worry about if their child’s alright or if the person looking after them have they got everything they need.

“It’s just not really been spoken about in public before in the last year or so. It’s sort of a space that is a bit unchartered and not delved into that much.”

England players celebrating a wicket

England return to action against New Zealand next week (Nigel French/PA)

After securing an ODI and T20 series victory against Pakistan, Sciver-Brunt is back under way with England as they begin their white-ball series against New Zealand in Chester-Le-Street next week.

The team then have a series against Ireland before kicking off their T20 World Cup campaign in October against South Africa in Bangladesh.

England will be aiming to go one better after being narrowly beaten by the Proteas in the semi-finals of the previous tournament in 2023, but Sciver-Brunt believes the strength of T20 cricket in England has helped provide more selection headaches.

“We’ve obviously had the T20 section against Pakistan and the Charlotte Edwards Cup is coming to an end this weekend where different people have put their hands up in all the teams,” she added.

“T20 cricket in England has improved with the Hundred and different tactical ways of doing things, but also gaining experience for all the international players that come over as well.

“It provides more headaches for selectors really, we’ve got the T20 series against New Zealand coming up and then the Hundred as well, there’s so many opportunities for people to stand up and let Jon Lewis and Heather (Knight) know why they should be picked.”

A World Cup victory would add to Sciver-Brunt’s growing collection of accolades this year after she was named as Wisden’s leading cricketer in the world and the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year.

The all-rounder is targeting further success in the future and has one eye on competing at the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics.

She said: “Anyone who’s playing right now would be crazy not to have their mind on the Olympics.

“Growing up I absolutely loved watching the Olympics so for a chance for cricket to be in the Olympics that’s really special. I’d absolutely love to be playing in that.

“Obviously what we do in English cricket is pretty special, but being an Olympian feels like you’re bigger than just a cricket team so that would be just amazing.”

Tickets to watch England Women vs New Zealand are selling fast. Fans can find out when they are playing at their nearest ground at ecb.co.uk/tickets



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