ICC Women's World Cup: Lauren Winfield to miss England v India opener

Lauren Winfield
Lauren Winfield could miss England's opening two matches
ICC Women's World Cup 2017
Venues: Bristol, Derby, Leicester, Taunton, Lord's. Dates: 24 June - 23 July.
Coverage: Ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on all England matches and selected others; in-play highlights on the BBC Sport website.
Click here for full fixtures and squad lists

England were dealt a blow on the eve of the opening game of the biggest Women's World Cup in history by the loss of injured opener Lauren Winfield.

Winfield, 26, will miss the contest against India because of a wrist problem sustained in a warm-up match.

She is likely to miss the second game against Pakistan on Tuesday and will be assessed next week.

Captain Heather Knight said Winfield's replacement in the side has been told, but did not say who it was.

"We're really gutted for Lauren, but we have planned for every eventuality and will have a slightly different line-up," said Knight.

"We have a plan in place and the girls involved know the situation."

Winfield injury disrupts England

The loss of Winfield is something of a disruption for England, who do not have another regular international opener in the squad.

The right-hander has been a regular source of runs at the top of the order - since the beginning of June last year, Winfield has scored more one-day international runs for England than all but Tammy Beaumont and Nat Sciver.

"In terms of unsettling the team, you could say that it will be quite a big blow," former England batter Lydia Greenway told BBC Radio 5 live.

However, England do have Knight available after her recovery from a broken metatarsal, and wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor is set to play her first international for more than a year.

Taylor, one of the finest batters in the women's game, took a break from cricket in May 2016 to deal with an anxiety-related issue.

England not motivated by the money

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England not thinking about money - Knight

The 2017 edition of the World Cup will be the richest and most widely available to audiences in history.

The prize fund has increased tenfold since the 2013 tournament to $2m, while every game will either be televised or streamed on the International Cricket Council website.

Knight, though, said an increase in cash does not provide her players with any added motivation.

"The money is not something we will be thinking about," she told BBC Sport.

"It's a nice touch by the ICC to show where the women's game is at - it's a good statement. But for us the ultimate prize is lifting that trophy at Lord's and that doesn't change whether the prize money is nothing or the amount it is now."

'Relaxed' England look to end trophy drought

The eight-team tournament sees each side play each other in the group stage, with the top four teams qualifying for the semi-finals.

England are three-time winners, but have not lifted a global trophy since 2009. The biggest obstacle to ending that barren run is likely to be defending champions and bookmakers' favourites Australia.

Knight has not lost a series since taking charge last summer and her team have swept aside Sri Lanka and New Zealand in warm-up matches.

"The performances have been brilliant, but you can't really read too much into warm-up games," she said. "What has pleased me the most is the vibe around the squad. We've been surprisingly relaxed and quite calm.

"That calmness is really important going into a big tournament. I'm sure there will be a few nerves kicking around, but the girls seem confident and relaxed."

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