ul bike racer and made me who I am on the bike is the fact that I started late, Stevens said. I had to really play

in BullyGeister 29.10.2018 07:54
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There are some things in life you dont get offered twice, like a place at Cambridge or the England captaincy. Heather Knight turned Cambridge down because it wasnt right for her, but the captaincy, well the captaincy she knew she had to take, even though it didnt come at the most straightforward of times.I felt for Charlotte [Edwards], Knight says after Englands record-breaking second ODI in Worcester against Pakistan. Im good mates with her and it was certainly a case of mixed emotions. Ive played with Lottie for a long time and knew how much it would hurt her and how gutted she would be to not pull on an England shirt again. I knew that was tough but I also knew that I was probably the best person to do the job. I was really excited to take on the challenge of leading the team forward.Cambridge, on the other hand, didnt excite her. It didnt feel right. Cardiff did, so she chose to go there. Her family, on the whole, backed her in making that decision - undeniably a brave one. Theyve always wanted me to make my own decisions and I guess my own mistakes sometimes, as well. Hopefully it wasnt too much of a mistake. I think I made the right choice. You get the sense that this is a person who knows their own mind and isnt afraid to forge their own path; pretty handy characteristics for a captain. Coach Mark Robinson offered her the job over a beer in Loughborough. Knight had to keep it a secret, something she found very difficult to do.As captaincy gigs go, though, Knights is pretty tough. Replacing a universally popular standard bearer for the game who was still making runs, off the back of a decision which split opinion, with a squad that - while clearly talented - is young and unproven. Vital then that the new era started well. We knew that if we started badly, or if we had a batting collapse, things would be said and people would argue that the changes that have been made arent right, Knight says. Fortunately, they started well. A first game as captain brought a win, a half-century and a maiden five-for. Dream world. The second, that saw England make 378 for 5 - their highest-ever ODI total - was, amazingly, even better.Yeah, it was crazy, wasnt it? Absolutely mental. I was sat there at lunch shaking my head and thinking, I cant believe we just scored 380! We hit 11 sixes. After the first game everyone said it would be downhill from there but then our second game topped it. It was a pretty awesome day.The performance at Worcester ticked so many of the boxes that Knights new team are aiming for. Can young players take their opportunities? Can they look more dynamic? Can the team hit sixes? (England hit no sixes in the 2014 World T20. Before the Worcester game, no England player had ever hit more than one six in an innings. Three did it at New Road.) Can they improve their fielding? It was a day of yesses and even with Edwards holding court in the BBC Test Match Special commentary box - opining on how small the boundaries were and declaring that she wouldnt have minded a bat out there - it truly felt like Knights England would be able to move forward as their own outfit, unencumbered by the goings-on of the past few months. She wouldnt have chosen to take the job if she didnt think she could be a success.****The new England captain has come a long way since she first played cricket as a six-year-old in Plymstock, Devon. She was, in her own words, a proper little tomboy with a dreadful barnet who was desperate to do whatever her older brother Steve did. Fortunately for the English game, Steve liked cricket, so Heather followed. She followed him to Plymstock CC, where she first played a hard-ball game aged nine - bowling dibbly-dobbler seamers that people would try to smash and get out to - before eventually the siblings played together in the clubs first XI. Her success there, and at school in the boys side, eventually saw her stop playing for her county Devon (where, aged 12, shed already played against her now vice-captain, Anya Shrubsole , of her own volition, to seek a better standard of cricket in Division One with Berkshire.Ive always been quite a competitive character, she explains, and I enjoy things Im quite good at. I found I was okay at whacking a ball and catching a ball. Part of what attracted me to cricket was that competitiveness. I was always against the boys and had to prove myself to show that I deserved to be there.There was also the social side of it. I liked being down at the club for hours while the men were playing. Wed play one-hand one-bounce in the nets or, when my parents were away, Steve and I would play in the house or wed play in the garden and break a few garden chairs. Mum would never be too happy about that!Her concerns are bigger than broken garden chairs these days and she admits that, not a month into the job, shes already struggling to get cricket off the mind. Id go mental if I thought of cricket 24/7 and sometimes in the last week Ive found myself lying awake thinking about cricket and I try and tell myself to stop thinking about it and go to sleep! Its silly things like field placements. I have to tell myself to stop.Fortunately there are other things in Knights life. She lives in London with one of her best friends from her days at Uni - not, like many of team-mates, in Loughborough - and has spent time over the last three years playing an active role in the Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation (RCSF), a charity building a cricket ground in the Rwandan capital city Kigali.I was injured a couple of years ago, Id done my hamstring, and I had a bit of free time. A mate of mine was involved with the RCSF and he asked me if I fancied going to Rwanda and getting involved so I literally flew out for three-and-a-half days, coached the mens and womens teams, saw all the facilities - or lack of - and fell in love with the country. Its quite fun to get away from cricket sometimes, as well.Knights involvement has been about more than just holding up a few posters and scheduling a few tweets. She - along with 29 other brave souls - trooped up Mount Kilimanjaro in 2014 to play the highest-ever game of cricket and raise some money.Going up Kilimanjaro, I wanted to get the job done! It was good fun, Clare Connor [director of womens cricket at the ECB] was there as well and I had to sort of funnel her up the last 100 metres. Ashley Giles got quite moany at altitude - I think it had a strange effect on Ash! - but it was fun and it was all about getting everyone up there and making sure they were safe.The charitys doing well. We had a charity fundraiser at Lords in June and raised 120k profit, I think, which was fantastic. Weve pretty much got enough to get the ground built in Kigali and theyve started building it after whats been a fairly tedious process of getting permission and finding water and things like that. Its something that Ive really enjoyed doing and Ive got a lot from. Ive also had some pretty cool experiences, like visiting Rwanda and climbing Kilimanjaro. I enjoy doing it and if I can help a few people along the way then its all the better.****Interests outside the game should protect Knight from the fatigue that you can associate with the treadmill of the professional game, but theres also her new role to keep her on her toes. Her relationship with her team-mates, for example, is already different, something that shell have to get used to.Everyone looks at you in a slightly different way when youre captain! The other day there was a decision about something completely irrelevant to cricket and everyone kind of looked at me and I had no idea. Ask me about cricket and Ill tell you.My role is slightly different now. Youre part of the team but when you have a role in selection and things like that you are held in a slightly different light by the girls. Its gone quite smoothly so far and Ill always try and remain a player first and foremost and a captain second. At the moment, Im enjoying that difference.The girls have made it very easy. Theyve ensured that the transition has been really smooth and theyve been really supportive. I was really proud to be out there as captain for the first time and its gone really well - Im just waiting for things to go badly!Its not impossible that things do go badly. It would be wrong to assume that just because Knights taken over and some of the younger players have started scoring runs then success is inevitable. There remains work to be done. The runs against Pakistan could be tempered by remembering that during Knights introduction as captain, Robinson said that Lottie would have filled her boots against Pakistan. Well know more when the new era starts performing against the bigger nations, or in alien conditions. As Knight herself says, theres a long way to go.Defeats and criticism will come, inevitably. It was something that Edwards found during her time in charge after the move to professionalism: more was expected and fewer excuses were acceptable. Already, during the second ODI in Worcester, there were some grumblings from the BBC Test Match Special team that Knight wasnt more attacking during her teams time in the field. How then will someone, described as stubborn by Robinson during her introduction to the press as captain, deal with being told shes doing it wrong?Im sure there will be a time when I read criticism. Thats the nature of the job. Like Mark said, I probably am quite stubborn so whenever someones said something about me Ive always wanted to prove them wrong. It might be a case of using it as motivation.One aspect of Englands struggles towards the end of Edwards time in charge was the perception that too many of the team - young and inexperienced as they were - would gladly follow their captain blindly into the abyss. As Edwards explained to David Tossell in his book Girls Of Summer: They are a young group and dont want to say the wrong thing. But I dont know everything. The new era is therefore keen to allow everyone in the team their voice. Were trying to push all the girls to make their own decisions and be really forthcoming with their own opinions. We want everyone to be comfortable expressing themselves, Knight says.Does that mean Knight, apparently so stubborn, will encourage advice from her team-mates? Yeah, definitely. I wont always take it but Im very keen to hear it. Fortunately, whether Knight listens to her team-mates or not, shes demonstrated that shes got a track record of making the right calls.This article originally appeared in All Out Cricket magazine. Click here to see what all the fuss is about, including a masterclass with Kumar Sangakkara and a classic pub chat with Brendon McCullum. Amir Johnson Jersey . Bradwell was scheduled to become a free agent Tuesday. Born and raised in Toronto, Bradwell is entering his sixth CFL season, with all six played for his hometown Argonauts. Trevor Booker Jersey . The FA rejected Wilsheres appeal that the length of his punishment was "clearly excessive" and said Thursday his suspension begins with immediate effect. He will miss league matches against Chelsea on Monday and West Ham on Dec. http://www.official76ersproshop.com/kids-dana-barros-76ers-jersey/ . 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Evelyn Stevens burst into professional cycling with an irresistible backstory, an ideal engine for endurance and -- as she was always quick to mention -- the very rawest of bike-handling skills.?Shell end her career seven years later at the world championships tucked into the precise formation of one of the sports top teams in its most technical event.?Stevens, 33, never could have imagined the topography of the path from her former desk on Wall Street to Sundays team time trial in Doha, Qatar.?Hooked after entering a cyclocross race on a whim, Stevens signed up for a road cycling clinic in New Yorks Central Park in 2008. The following year, she quit her job in investment banking, sold or gave away most of her possessions and began pedaling toward parts unknown.?She signed her first pro contract before the 2010 season and learned racing from the ground up, sometimes literally. Along the way, she carved out an identity as one of the most versatile riders in the peloton: a time trialist and climber as well as an intrepid super-domestique who helped other riders close out victories.I rode for the best teams, with the best women and the best equipment, Stevens said from Nice, France, where she was training for worlds last week. Theres no event that I didnt do that I wanted to do. I didnt accomplish all of my goals, but I got the chance to go after them.?A two-time U.S. individual time trial champion and double world championship time trial medalist (silver in 2012, bronze in 2014), Stevens also won the prestigious La Fleche Wallonne one-day classic and several stage races around the world. But her distinction was as a rider who drew her own finish lines.?In 2014, frustrated by the arbitrary length restrictions on womens stage races, she devised her own Grand Tour, stringing together 17 consecutive race days in Europe starting with the womens Giro Rosa and continuing with Germanys Thüringen Rundfahrt, which she won.?Last February, Stevens set a new womens hour record -- covering 47.980 kilometers in the allotted time -- in Colorado Springs, an accomplishment that drew 50,000 viewers on a livestream. She still cant believe that many people wanted to watch her ride around in circles.?Looking back on it, it was insane I even thought to do that, she said. Im gonna go out and ride for an hour, close to 48k, have everybody watching me -- pretty much all you can do is fail. Now Im so proud of it, as I get farther away from it. Proud of the result, taking that risk, the experience, the people around me who helped me with it. Its a lovely process to get to these goals.?It was a process Stevens knew nothing about as a wide-eyed newbie whose only prior team experience was as a tenacious baseliner on the Dartmouth College tennis team. She was initially stunned that teams employed someone to fill her water bottles and do her laundry, but she got used to it.?Other adaptations came a lot harder. It took years for Stevens to feel comfortable in the tight quarters of the peloton. She forced herself to fight crosswinds and navigate wet roads, but bad-weather riding was never her strong suit. She refiined her descending skills by following young superstar Taylor Phinney on the roads around Boulder, Colorado -- part of the Phinney familys larger embrace that included mentorship and a second home.dddddddddddd?Stevens carved careful tracks down the ski slopes of her youth rather than schussing down at full speed. Much about road cycling remained a mental stretch for her naturally risk-averse personality. Every day I got on the bike, I was facing fears, she said.?Those fears came partially to fruition in March 2013, when Stevens crashed heavily on a traffic circle in a race in Italy. She suffered a concussion and required 40 stitches and some dental work to reconstruct one of the most contagious smiles in cycling.?Stevens had a quiet Olympics in Rio. She rode valiantly in support of Mara Abbotts heart-cracking fourth-place effort in the road race, but blustery conditions on the day of the time trial thwarted her quest for a medal in her second Summer Games.?She is leaving the sport with no regrets, including her late introduction to it. Stevens was comfortable in her own skin, if not always in the saddle, when she dedicated herself to cycling in her mid-20s. She knew she always had the safety net of a college education and work experience if things didnt work out.?Stevens success obviated the need for that exit strategy until now. Shes contemplating picking back up in the financial field, although she frets at the thought of a more sedentary lifestyle and already envisions fidgeting at a standing desk. Mostly, shes looking forward to more time in San Francisco with her husband of one year, Brett Baker, a program manager at Twitter.?I think what made me a successful bike racer and made me who I am on the bike is the fact that I started late, Stevens said. I had to really play catch-up. It made for some big struggles on the bike. Maybe if Id started when I was 15 years old I would have been more comfortable in the corners. But would I actually have gotten myself in that position??She automatically qualified for the road race in Doha, but declined the spot. Her farewell will come with the Netherlands-based Boels-Dolmans team in the team time trial, which is contested by trade teams rather than national squads. Stevens was a member of Specialized-lululemons three straight gold-medal lineups in the event from 2012 to 14 and would love to go out on another winning note with Boels-Dolmans, the 2015 TTT silver medalist.?Im prepping for the team time trial, but Ive stepped back and realized how intense that lifestyle can be, she said. I started to itch for something else, to try another challenge.?I know I could physically continue to compete at the top level for a lot more time. But I almost feel like Im getting comfortable and kinda have figured out how to do it, and thats when you need to go. I love riding my bicycle. Not one ounce of me is sick of riding my bike. Now, do I want to go with 200 women and [speed] down a small street in Holland? No. Im done. 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