SOLIHULL’s Amy Jones is a ready-made replacement to fill the void left by the influential Sarah Taylor in the England Women team, according to pace bowler Kate Cross.
Earlier this week Taylor announced she is taking an indefinite break from cricket due to personal reasons.
The 26-year-old has been a part of the international set-up since 2006 and is England’s third highest one-day international run-scorer and second only to recently retired captain Charlotte Edwards in T20 games.
Taylor has scored 5,581 international runs in 190 appearances, claiming 114 catches and 88 stumpings, and is one of only seven women to play in 100 ODIs for England.
But with England getting ready for their One-Day International Series against Pakistan that kicks off on June 20, teammate Cross is adamant 22-year-old Amy Jones is ready to make the step up.
“We always say that if she (Amy) played for any other team in the world she would be their first choice keeper, it’s just because we had Sarah that she never got a look in,” Cross said.
“It is exciting that we have got people who can step up. They are big shoes to fill but people are now backing themselves to fill them.
“Sarah is very similar to Lottie [Edwards], she’s a game changer.
“I don’t think we will really come across many people like Charlotte and Sarah who just have that natural ability in them.
“I mean Sarah is a freak, she is unbelievable. She has changed the game and is innovative and has done stuff that women previously haven’t done and pushed the game forward.
“It is a real blow to potentially not have her in the team in the summer as she is a bubbly personality in the dressing room again.
“But again it creates that opportunity for other girls to come through.”
Also looking to fill Taylor’s sizeable shoes as England wicketkeeper are the likes of Tamsin Beaumont and Lauren Winfield.
And while Cross believes the talent is there, she knows the task of picking up the mantle from Taylor is easier said than done.
“Tammy, Amy and Lauren are all competing for the same spot in terms of opening the batting,” she added. “There is that competition between them but they are all really capable girls to fill that spot.
“As much as we would want Sarah in that team and we want her back, it would be a bonus if she does, but it will give more girls a chance to say we can do it without them, which is difficult with the two best players in the world, but it’s an opportunity.”
Kate Cross was speaking at a Royal London event, showcasing their support of the Women’s game and the upcoming One-Day International Series against Pakistan. For more information visit www.royallondoncricket.com