Women's World Twenty20: Katherine Brunt assesses England's chances
England can win Women's World T20 title but it will be tougher than ever, says Katherine Brunt.
Last Updated: 19/03/14 10:14am
The fast bowler played a starring role, taking three wickets for just six runs, as England swept aside New Zealand to win the final of the inaugural tournament at Lord's in 2009.
However, since then England have endured mixed campaigns in the shortest format's showpiece event, suffering group stage struggles in 2010 and losing a narrow final to two-time winners Australia in 2012.
Brunt - who will miss the upcoming tournament due to a back injury - is optimistic her team-mates, fresh from their Ashes triumph Down Under, will be well prepared to re-capture the crown in Bangladesh.
However, she has warned there are a growing number of sides capable of challenging for the trophy.
"Having played a really tough Ashes series in Australia, it's only going to stand us in good stead for the World Twenty20. That's definitely in our favour," she told skysports.com.
"In terms of the opposition, Australia are our main rivals but it's quite scary because there are a lot of teams taking it very seriously now.
"The West Indies have come a long way, while the Pakistan and Sri Lanka girls, who upset us in the one day world cup, are being looked after financially so they can dedicate all their time to the sport.
"They are getting contracted and are training every day. They live and breathe cricket out there."
Brunt has particular respect for West Indies duo Deandra Dottin and Stafanie Taylor after seeing their destructive batting first-hand.
The pair starred as West Indies defeated England in the Tri-Nations final at the end of last year, scoring unbeaten knocks of 46 and 51 respectively.
And the two-time England Women's Cricketer of the Year believes Dottin, who recorded the first ever women's T20 century four years ago - off just 38 balls - is changing the women's game with her boundary-clearing exploits.
"In the recent series in the Caribbean people like Dottin and Taylor were great to watch and they hit the ball a long way," she said.
"They can tear a game apart individually and, because of that, I do think the West Indies are right up there in contention.
"People will turn on to watch the likes of Dottin. A lot of people say 'you don't hit the ball long enough or bowl it fast enough' but Dottin is hitting it into men's arena stands. It's incredible to watch.
"She's leading the way with that and hopefully more people will be able to follow."
Despite the rising standards around them, though, Brunt is adamant the England team will arrive on the sub-continent well prepared to take on the world's best.
Even the soaring temperatures, which are predicted to have an impact, won't stall their challenge, says Brunt.
"We played exceptionally well in the World T20 in Sri Lanka and showed we can handle the heat there," she said.
"It's going to be seriously hot in Bangladesh but the girls will have had a month acclimatising, which you'd never normally get and, after the Ashes tour, our players will be adjusted to the heat."