Heather Knight column: Women's Ashes, baseball, Lego and meeting Lorraine Kelly

Heather Knight
Women's Ashes 2019: England v Australia
Venues: Leicester, Canterbury, Taunton, Chelmsford, Hove, Bristol Dates: 2-31 July
Coverage: In-play highlights clips, ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary and live text commentary on all games on the BBC Sport website & app (some games also on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra) - full schedule

Earning the urn

I think this is the most prepared we've ever been for an Ashes series. It's brilliant to come into the series off the back of having played West Indies. Obviously it was rain-affected, but to get into the rhythm of playing international cricket has been so important.

It's undeniably going to be a challenge but we've given ourselves the best chance to be successful. It was a funny series last time because the trophy went to them with two Twenty20 internationals to go, but we actually ended up drawing 8-8.

I remember the emotions after that last game at Canberra. Danni Wyatt had just scored an amazing century and we'd chased down 178 but we were obviously frustrated and disappointed because a series draw still meant they retained the trophy.

We're desperate to get the Ashes back this summer - that's our aim for the next month. We need to continue the mentality we've had throughout our 14-game winning run and maintain the high standards and winning habits that have helped us get to where we are.

Meg Lanning and Heather Knight with the Women's Ashes trophy
Meg Lanning's Australia hold the trophy after winning the 2015 series and drawing in 2017

Batter, batter, swing!

During our few days off between the two series, I was invited to the launch night of the Major League Baseball London Series.

It's the first time baseball has come to the UK with the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox playing at London Stadium over the weekend.

I confess that my baseball knowledge is average to poor - I do own a Boston Red Sox hat but I didn't actually know it was a baseball hat when I bought it!

The launch was at a trendy east London venue and I got to have a go in the baseball cage. It was tricky, but a lot of fun! It was all about distance and unfortunately my snicks over the slips earned me no runs.

Also in that period, I nipped to the old Television Centre to go on Lorraine Kelly's show. Lorraine was lovely and hopefully a few viewers will now be more aware of women's cricket and get themselves along to a game.

That's the big aim - but I've got to be honest, I want to get her with a bat in her hand at some point!

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When your left-arm spinner buys you some Lego...

Tours can sometimes test your creativity and Sophie Ecclestone and Sarah Taylor have met that challenge by going back to their childhoods and building Lego on their afternoons off.

I was a massive Lego fan as a kid and was delighted when Soph bought me a Lego Technic boat to build. I haven't had a chance yet but it'll be brought out over the next few days.

Lego footballers
Would a Lego cricket set be too much to ask?

Heather's Pride

Last weekend, we had a really enjoyable day at Loughborough. I sat out our warm-up game against Australia A - I picked up a bit of a niggle in our second T20 against West Indies - but I was still playing some form of cricket.

I was training with the 11 seven to 11-year-old competition winners who had written in or sent a video saying why they should be part of Heather's Pride and train with the England team.

The girls were absolutely amazing - and very impressive skill-wise - and it was so nice to see how much it meant to them all.

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England captain Heather Knight holds a special training session for young cricketers

BBC Sport has launched #ChangeTheGame this summer to showcase female athletes in a way they never have been before. Through more live women's sport available to watch across the BBC this summer, complemented by our journalism, we are aiming to turn up the volume on women's sport and alter perceptions. Find out more here.

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