England women cricket star Natalie Sciver has withdrawn from the upcoming T20I and ODI series against India to focus on her mental health and well-being, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced on Thursday. Sciver, who was standing in as captain for Heather Knight as she recovers from hip surgery, has left the team’s camp in Durham to return home.
Wicketkeeper-batter Amy Jones was appointed captain for the three-match T20I series against India, starting in Durham on Saturday, with no replacement player has been named as yet.
“I’ve played a lot of cricket over the last nine months, and I am very emotionally fatigued. Elite sport demands a lot, and for the moment, I’m not able to perform without compromising my own well-being, so I need to take some time away from cricket in order to focus on myself. It’s the right decision for me, and it’s the right decision for the team,” said Sciver in a statement released by ECB.
Sciver captained England in Knight’s absence in the Commonwealth Games, where the host nation lost the bronze-medal playoff against New Zealand, with Australia claiming gold and India silver.
“We fully support Nat and her decision to step away from this series. Cricket is important, but it is wholly insignificant in the context of an individual’s health and happiness. The welfare of our players and staff is always our number one priority, and we will support Nat throughout this period,” said Jonathan Finch, Director of England Women’s cricket
The India Women’s tour of England will start on Saturday, September 10. Both sides will first meet in the three-match T20I series and then battle out in the three ODIs, part of the ICC Championship Match.