New Delhi [India], July 1 (ANI): Jan Thompson, the British Deputy High Commissioner to India, is hopeful that England would come out triumphant in the Women's Ashes, beginning July 2 at Leicester.
England will host Australia for three One-Day Internationals, one Test and three T20 Internationals. Thompson wished both the teams good luck, however, stressed that England would win the multi-format tournament.
"May the best team win but I have a feeling it is going to be England," Thompson told ANI on the sidelines of India versus England ICC Cricket World Cup match at being screened at the British High Commissioner to India, Dominic Asquith's residence in the capital on Sunday evening.
The Women's Ashes is a point-based series and the team which earns the most points at the end of the series will clinch the trophy. Australia are the current holders of the Ashes as they won it in the backyard of England in 2015 and then retained the trophy in Australia in 2017.
A team will be entitled to earn two points on winning an ODI or T20I. If the match is tied or abandoned, both the teams will receive a point each. The only Test consists of four points to grab, however, in case there is a draw, the teams will get two points each.
In the World Cup match between India and England, the hosts of the tournament opted to bat first. Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow gave England a solid start as the duo stitched a 160-run partnership. Roy was dismissed for 66 but Bairstow went on to score a century. Bairstow was sent back to the pavilion after playing a knock of 111 runs. Towards the end, Ben Stokes played crucial innings of 79 runs to take his side to post 337 runs for the loss of seven wickets.
Chasing 338, India opening batsman Rohit Sharma registered his third century in the tournament. Virat Kohli registered a half-century, becoming the first skipper to register five consecutive fifties in the World Cup. However, India fell 31 runs short in the end. This win has enabled England to move up and take the fourth spot in the tournament standings.
Attributing the World Cup match between India and England as a great fixture, Thompson further said, "Now is the best time to start. We are feeling optimistic and confident. We started the tournament as favourites and still got some really good chances. We have had a bit tough time and we are really hoping to put up a good fight. We have got a great team and India versus England is a great fixture."
Despite India's defeat, the British Deputy High Commissioner believes the World Cup match between England and India at the Lord's on July 14 would be fantastic.
"We really want to see a final between India and England. I think that would be great for all the Indian fans who have travelled to the UK to watch this competition. Probably around 80,000 Indians have gone this summer to the UK to watch this competition. So, England versus India final would just be fantastic," she said.
"It is such an important sport for both the UK and India. We both love cricket. Cricket is been played in India for over 300 years. It is something we compete over and it is a real cornerstone. It is a living bridge that exists between India and England, the UK more broadly. Be it sports, culture or business all the people to people," she added.
Thompson also highlighted that there is a lot of pressure on England as they are the home team in the tournament.
England had not been able to beat Australia, India and New Zealand since 1992 edition. However, with its win over India, England have ended its 27-year-old losing streak to India. The Eoin Morgan-led side would aim to build on this victory when they face New Zealand on July 3 at Chester-le-Stree
"There is a lot of pressure on England because we are at home. So there is always a pressure for the home team to do well and to progress to the last four but we are used to handling the pressure. I think our guys can do it," she said.
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