It was what I needed – Sarah Glenn thrilled to be back in England squad

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Sarah Glenn was happy to end her “fangirling” days by helping England beat South Africa by six wickets in their Twenty20 series opener at Chelmsford.

The leg-spinner returned to the international scene on Thursday night for the first time in six months and took one for 18 in an emphatic victory for the hosts, which clinched the multi-format series with two matches to spare.

Glenn had been reduced to a spectator since the Ashes at the start of 2022 after she opted out of March’s 50-over World Cup, citing the demands of life in bio-secure bubbles during the coronavirus pandemic.

But the 24-year-old is back in the T20 squad, which is the same group who will represent England in the Commonwealth Games later this month, and was thrilled to help Heather Knight’s side beat South Africa for a fourth match in a row.

“I think it was what I needed. It was a really tough decision and it was quite hard seeing the girls but I was just fangirling from home,” Glenn reflected on her decision to miss the World Cup.

“I have been watching the girls from home (this summer) and it has kind of inspired me because I am like, ‘come on, I want to do that’ and to help the team push it forward.

“You can easily be a bit nervous and put pressure on yourself, which I kind of naturally do in every game I ever play. I always get a bit nervous but, for me, seeing how much they have dominated has made me want to be on the pitch even more.

“I am like I want to be a part of that so that was nice for me coming into the team.”

Had Glenn travelled as a reserve to New Zealand for the World Cup, it would have meant close to three months in strict living conditions after she was part of the touring party for the disappointing Ashes series down under.


During her time back home in the spring, the Central Sparks bowler worked on both the technical and psychological side of things. She has enjoyed a fruitful few months since both domestically and in two England A outings.

Glenn added: “I did a lot of training sessions by myself, just figuring out things by myself with a clear head and that just helped so much. It has made me have so much more clarity coming into this summer.

“There were a few things I wanted to make changes with my bowling.

“I did a few drills and I found with a shorter run-up, I felt a bit more stable and more rhythmic so that has allowed me to work on my variations like the googly, yorker, pace off, things like that.

“With all of that, I practiced it in pre-season so I knew I had it in the locker and I could just keep it simple for the summer. I think both have helped massively.”

Leg-spinner Glenn will hope to show off some new tricks over the coming weeks.

After facing South Africa at her New Road home on Saturday and concluding the sprint format series at Derbyshire on Monday, England will switch attention to the Commonwealth Games.

The Hundred is also on the horizon in August but Glenn is trying to take things slowly, despite her obvious excitement at cricket being part of the Birmingham event having experienced multi-format competitions during her junior years as an international hockey player.

“I am trying really hard to keep it game by game,” she said.

“For me I will use these games to really nail my game and focus on each one so that I am ready for the Commonwealth. Then that will kind of help with the Hundred, but I will take it game by game because it is going to go very quickly.

“When we went to the (Commonwealth Games) kit out day, how everything was brought back, all the memories, and made me a bit emotional actually because it is so good to feel you are just one team from multiple teams.

“It brought back really good memories for me so I am excited to have that kind of experience again.”

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