Triumphant England skipper Heather Knight has revealed she feared she’d lost the Women’s World Cup trophy less than five days after her team claimed it at Lord’s.
England secured their fourth 50-over title when they toppled India in a thriller last month, with their 15-player squad enjoying a wave of accolades and recognition in the aftermath.
But elation briefly turned to panic for Knight on day two of the third Test between England’s men and South Africa at The Oval later that week.
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Having spent the morning of the Test occupied by media and other official duties, the 26-year-old was enjoying a well-earned afternoon off watching the action playing out on the field when she realised something was amiss.
"I thought I had (the trophy) with me because I had the box,” Knight told The Guardian.
"But (the box) was empty. I had a security lady guarding it but it was literally just a box.
"I realised I left the trophy with Sky Sports, so I went back to get it after few Pimm’s but it wasn’t there anymore.
"The guard said some woman had walked off with it and it ‘looked a bit dodgy’.
"I was panicked. I thought I’d lost the World Cup. Luckily the dubious looking lady was from the ECB."
Fortunately for Knight and her teammates, the precious trophy was soon back in the skipper’s hands – and even earned her some freebies when it accompanied her to a south London pub after play.
"It actually got us some free burgers, which was a nice touch."
Knight’s short-lived predicament isn’t the first time a cricket trophy has gone astray.
Legend has it that for 15 years the Frank Worrell Trophy, the prize awarded in bilateral Test series between Australia and West Indies, went missing.
Forged to commemorate the memorable 1960-61 series between the two teams and featuring the ball used in the final innings of the famous tied Test in Brisbane, the trophy was misplaced somewhere in the Caribbean after being reclaimed by the Windies in 1978.
A replica was made – unbeknownst to cricket fans, with a Melbourne trophy maker tasked with creating an exact copy – and was presented to the winning team at the end of each series until the early 1990s, when the original was unearthed in a Barbados garage belonging to the mother of Wes Hall, who bowled the final over of the tied Test at the Gabba in 1960.
No such extreme measures were required of Knight’s team, who had two weeks to bask in the glow of their World Cup win before returning to domestic duties in the England Women’s Super League.
"There’s definitely been a lot more interest,” said Knight when asked what the World Cup win means for the women’s game. “There was actually a health food shop in Kensington that wanted to name a salad after me.
"I think the offer was free salad for life. I’m not sure what would be in a ‘Heather Knight salad’ to be honest.
"Maybe a bit of halloumi, some chicken, avocado – it’ll have to pack a full punch. We’ll see what happens.”
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