England opener Danielle Wyatt wears jersey No. 28 while playing for her country but she donned the No. 22 jersey during Tuesday’s Women’s T20 Challenge.
The rationale behind this gesture from Wyatt was a tribute to the 22 people who lost their lives in last year’s terror attack at the Manchester Arena. It wasn’t just a show of solidarity towards the victims as Wyatt herself was among those attending the event in Manchester and was lucky to escape the suicide bombing.
Speaking to The Indian Express after the exhibition match, Danielle Wyatt said: “I was at the concert with my friends and we luckily left one song before the end. We missed the terrible events that happened. We were just getting into the taxi when it went off. It wasn’t very nice. I’ve been thinking about it the last few days and that’s why I had No.22 on the back of my shirt for today’s game.”
“I didn’t realise it till my phone was going crazy with all my friends and family asking me if I was alright. I couldn’t make much sense. I didn’t realise it till 20 minutes later when I got home. It wasn’t nice,” she added.
The Manchester bombing incident was the worst attack to hit England since the 2005 underground bombings. The episode had unsettled the entire nation with hundreds left seriously besides the casualties.
“It sunk in probably the next morning when I woke up, and I went to get coffee and the whole town was so quiet and very eerie and sad. I didn’t know any of the 22 people who died. I was upset for a couple of weeks after that. It was such a shame,” Wyatt recalled.
Danielle played for IPL Supernovas in yesterday’s clash against the IPL Trailblazers at the Wankhede Stadium. The Harmanpreet Kaur led side Supernovas beat Smriti Mandhana’s Trailblazers by 3 wickets in the inaugural IPL 2018 Women's T20 Challenge. Wyatt scored 24 runs for Supernovas while chasing Trailblazers’ target of 130.
“I didn’t think about it (the Manchester attack) much today. I had a big game today to take my mind off it. It was a fun day today and I enjoyed playing with and against the best players in the world. Hopefully, this could be the start of something good,” she adds. “It was absolutely outstanding. Thanks to the BCCI and IPL to organise this event in such a short amount of time. It was a really tight finish in the end and that would have been exciting for the crowd. The overseas players really enjoyed it,” Danielle Wyatt concluded.
The match was a great exhibition of what women cricketers can do when given a chance and added to the glitz and glamour of Women T20 cricket.