England women’s captain Heather Knight hailed her side for holding their nerve after they beat India by nine runs to win the World Cup title at Lord’s on Sunday.
The tournament hosts looked to be heading for a defeat in front of a capacity crowd after only posting 228/7 after winning the toss and deciding to bat first.
India then made a strong start with the willow as they reached 191/3 in the 43rd over , needing only another 38 runs with seven wickets remaining.
However, England seamer Anya Shrubsole took career-best figures of 6-46 to initiate a stunning Indian batting collapse that saw the Asian side lose their last seven wickets for just 28 runs to be bowled out for 219.
Knight said after the game: “We’ve made it hard for ourselves this tournament, but I couldn’t care less. We won those really tight games, which is something we wanted to work on over the last 18 months.
“All we’ve done in the last 18 months is to deal with situations like that. Anya Shrubsole, what a hero. What a day.
“I thought if we hung in there and let the rate stay around five or six that we’d always be in the game. The girls really held their nerve.
The England skipper hopes the global title will inspire many girls to take up the sport in the country and around the world.
Knight also expects that she and her teammates will now become role models to the girls that will take up the game from an early age, instead of their male counterparts.
The England captain continued: “I really hope this can be transformative. A lot of the girls in the team got their inspiration from men’s cricketers but hopefully we inspired a few more girls.
“There has never been a better time be a young girl in cricket. The ECB [England and Wales Cricket Board] are in a great position to capitalise on our win and I’m sure they will.”
A total of 55 players have been invited to work under ECB guidance in the coming weeks.
The swing bowler completed the landmark at Headingley.
But the ICC has rejected claims the tournament will be postponed, insisting a number of contingency plans are being considered.
He will not return from his family home in Tasmania even if the delayed season gets under way later this summer.
No domestic cricket can take place until at least August.
An expanded training group of up to 45 is due to be named on Friday.
The governing body still aims to stage a shortened domestic season.
Professional cricket is on hold until at least July 1.