'One of the best days of my life'

Nicky Shaw relives the excitement of the World Cup win (06:51)

March 24, 2009


Women's World Cup 2009

'One of the best days of my life'

March 24, 2009

Shaw, who thought she wouldn't be playing in the final till 10 minutes before the toss, gets her hands on the prize © Getty Images

Nishi Narayanan: Welcome to part two of Nicki Shaw's World Cup diary.

Hi Nicki, welcome back to Cricinfo Talk. You took career-best figures of 4 for 34 and were at the crease when the winning run at the World Cup was hit. Quite the movie script for you, isn't it?

Nicki Shaw: Yes it was. I don't think anyone could have predicted that was going to happen. It was one of the best days of my life.

NN: Tell us, how hungover are you right now?

NS: I am all right, actually. I paced myself through the night. We had our pictures taken at the Sydney Harbour bridge, so a lot of us were quite careful in what we were drinking. We just had a good time dancing, so we are a bit more tired than hungover.

NN: What exactly did Jenny Gunn tell you when you were told that you were going to play in the XI?

NS: She got a stiff calf but passed the preliminary fitness Test, and during the warm-up they announced the team and I wasn't playing. About five to 10 minutes before the toss Jenny pulled over and said that her calf was too bad to play, which is quite a big thing for someone to do in the World Cup final, to give up their spot. I thanked her and she was one of the first to congratulate me when I walked off the field.

NN: Give us a little bit of a lead-up to the final. What side of the bed did you wake up on?

NS: (laughs) I actually slept very well. I had a think about who was going to play and what was going to happen and decided that if all 15 were fit then I probably wouldn't play in the game because I didn't play in the game against the Kiwis in the first round, and I felt why change a winning team unless the pitch decides otherwise in terms of spinners and seamers. It had been a very spin-friendly tournament anyway and me being a seam bowler, one of the seamers had to miss out. Since I had missed out the last time [against New Zealand] I had resigned myself to the fact that I wasn't going to play. During the warm-ups when Jenny passed the fitness Test, I dealt with the fact that I wasn't going to play.

NN: Did you talk to your parents before the game?

NS: (laughs) No, I think I have phoned them only two or three times since I have been here. It was Mother's Day on Sunday so I had spoken to my mum the night before to wish her, and apart from telling them that I didn't think I would play, I hadn't spoken to them an awful lot.

NN: What about after the final?

NS: Yes, I had a little bit of an emotional cry on the phone to my dad. They both stayed up all night, with the time difference, watching the coverage on Sky back in England and they were really proud of me, so it was quite nice.

NN: What sort of a talk did Charlotte [Edwards] give to the team before you guys headed out onto the field?

NS: The main thing that she told us was to enjoy the game, treat it like any other game, because the nerves can get to you on a big day like that. None of us had played in a World Cup final before. She is the most experienced among us, so those words of encouragement set us off on the right foot. And we really wanted to perform for the people back home who had backed us with the money and all the training that we do; people that don't really get recognition for stuff but who were always there. We had something to give back to them and the speech was along those sort of lines.

"We are all quite superstitious and we don't try and move around too much when we are doing well. But you can't really get too nervous. We have got a very good team and we knew that somebody was going to do the job in the end"

NN: What about the hat-trick ball - where did you want to land it?

NS: (laughs) On the stumps. Usually when you are playing club cricket, the hat-trick ball tends to go wide because you are not concentrating. The big thing with that was we had a plan against Sarah McGlashan: to bowl straight, because she is an lbw candidate, and that was my plan and I stuck to it. I just tried to get it full and straight because I knew that she would be nervous. I probably let her off.

NN: After bowling New Zealand out for 166, what did you discuss in the innings break?

NS: The North Sydney Oval is a big field and it is a really decent pitch and we thought that 166 was an okay score, probably below-par in terms of what they had got batting-wise. But in a World Cup final any score is a decent score and you have got to go out there and get the runs. Our opening batters set us out on the right foot and then maybe a bit of World-Cup pressure got to us - we lost a couple of wickets. But Claire Taylor batted really well.

NN: Speaking of Taylor, we saw her on TV listening to her iPod just before she went on to bat. Do you know what she was listening to?

NS: It was probably classical music. She is a very good violinist and she loves playing anything like that, so it was probably a concert piece that she is practising or something like that.

NN: Were you guys ordered to stay in your seats when wickets started to fall?

NS: Yes, we are all quite superstitious and we don't try and move around too much when we are doing well. But you can't really get too nervous. We have got a very good team and we knew that somebody was going to do the job in the end, and we knew that finally we would win.

NN: Can you tell us what other superstitions other players have apart from staying in their seats?

NS: I think most of us put our left pad on first, which is a bit strange. If there is a partnership going, people don't like moving out of their seats; people sit in the same seats and that is the biggest one I think.

NN: How has this World Cup experience been different from the one in South Africa, considering the ICC was involved in hosting this one?

NS: To be honest it is not something that we really notice, because of the amount of cricket that we play. We just go on the field and play our game, and I think that is credit to the ICC in the fact that we do not notice them. It's a very well-run tournament like it was before and the fact that they have taken it over and it has all run smoothly is a credit to them.

NN: Which opposition batsmen did you feel troubled you? Pick one.

NS: (laughs) We have got the best batsman in the world in Claire Taylor, so it is hard to pick someone above her.

NN: Thanks a lot, Nicki.

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