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Page last updated at Wednesday, 30 March 2005, 14:03 GMT 15:03 UK

Brunt hopes for dazzling future

By Paul Grunill

It was an injury to Yorkshire team-mate Clare Taylor which gave Katherine Brunt her first opportunity to play international cricket.

Katherine Brunt
I'm working on my batting - I'd like to be an all-rounder
Katherine Brunt

Now, just seven months on from a Test match debut against New Zealand, she finds herself in the middle of a World Cup campaign.

And it offers her the opportunity to out-do her cricketing hero, Darren Gough, whose hopes of World Cup glory came to nothing in South Africa two years ago.

Like Gough, 19-year-old Brunt was born in Barnsley, so it is no surprise that she sees him as a perfect role model.

"I think he would have been in the Barnsley first team when I was in the under-11s.

"I look up to Darren. I always wanted to be a fast bowler. When I saw him on the telly steaming in, I thought 'That's what I want to do'," she told BBC Sport.

It was Gough's younger brother, Adrian, however, who had an active role in Brunt's development as captain of the Barnsley second XI in 2003, a team which also included her own brother and father.

"She used at bat three or four and have a bowl as well but at that stage she was lacking a bit of confidence.

"It was a case of getting her to believe in herself because she always had talent.

"It's the same with a lot of people when they're young, they feel out of it a bit when they're playing in an adult team and don't have that much confidence in themselves," said Adrian.

Darren Gough
Brunt's hero Darren Gough has 454 international wickets

"Her brother is a good cricketer as well and her father helps out quite a lot at the club, he maintains the ground and organises social events - they're really a cricketing family."

Brunt played her first one-day international against South Africa prior to the World Cup and figures of 1-14 from seven overs proved she could keep things tight with a white ball.

Her debut in the tournament proper came against favourites Australia, but she was denied a chance to bowl at the likes to Belinda Clark and Karen Rolton when rain washed out the second half of the match.

Brunt finally took the new ball three games later against India, when she and Lucy Pearson tried in vain to salvage the situation after England had posted a disappointing total of only 139.

"There were a lot of nerves. I didn't expect to open the bowling, but I did and got my mind set and they only got eight runs off the first 10 overs from me and Lucy.

"I picked up one wicket, Jaya Sharma. Apparently she's a good batter so I was fairly happy with that," she said.

Clare Taylor
It's the start of her career but I'm sure she's got a long one in front of her
Clare Taylor

In an echo of the nickname of another great Yorkshire fast bowler, Fred Trueman, Clare Taylor says Brunt can be a "fiery" character.

It is an assessment with which Adrian Gough agrees.

"Oh yes, she can be aggressive. She didn't like going for any runs when she was bowling, that's what used to spur her on really," he said.

"She used to bowl a yard or so quicker, which most people do if they start getting banged around a bit - nobody likes getting hit for runs."

Channelling that aggression productively is Brunt's challenge in the weeks - and years - ahead.


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