Alex Hartley, the left-arm spinner who played 32 games for England Women between 2016 and 2019, has revealed that she received death threats in the wake of her tweet during England’s two-day Test defeat against India last week.
Hartley took to Twitter to promote England Women’s ODI clash with New Zealand after the England men’s side, having been dismissed for 112 and 81, had suffered a 10-wicket defeat in Ahmedabad.
“Nice of the England boys to get this Test match finished just before England Women play tonight,” Hartley wrote with four clapping emojis.
Test opener Rory Burns, in reply, wrote: “Very disappointing attitude considering all the ‘boys’ do to support the women’s game.”
Left-handed batsman Ben Duckett, who played his last Test for England in 2016, joined in by calling it an “average tweet”.
Hartley insisted that her tweet was taken in a wrong way. In the recent episode of ‘No Balls’ podcast, the 2017 World Cup winner said she had to face social media abuse after the Twitter miscommunication.
“I’m a bit surprised at what has happened and a bit let down in a way from certain things that have happened,” Hartley said.
“I actually tweeted it when Joe Root got his five-for, and the game was clearly going to finish that day, but it could have gone either way. Yes, if you’re an England player and you see that tweet, it looks like I’ve done it because they’ve lost and I hadn’t.
“We called it a clumsy tweet, didn’t we? The intention of the tweet was genuinely to have a bit of a giggle and say, ‘By the way, the girls play, and it might be a bit better.
“In my opinion, I’ve done nothing wrong. I’ve done a tweet that was meant to be funny, and it’s been taken as not funny, and people are giving me grief like I still play for England – and I don’t.
“It’s been really weird because the tweet went down really, really well until Rory quoted it and then it went down like a sack of s***. I just felt like I was getting attacked from all angles over something that genuinely was meant to be a bit of humour.
“The messages of slating women’s cricket and saying that the men fund women’s cricket blah blah blah. I can deal with that.
“But it’s when people are telling you to go and die in a hole. Like, really? Just for tweeting one thing.
“The one that really infuriated me was I got a tweet from some guy saying, ‘Women’s cricket’s c***, women shouldn’t play sport, women this, women that’. He was a primary school head teacher. You just think, ‘If only I could show everybody who you really are’.”
Rory could have messaged me instead of belittling me: Hartley
Hartley also spoke about Burns’ tweet responding to her, which kicked up the storm. She explained how just a personal message from Rory could have sorted out the confusion.
“I think Rory’s just not understood what could come of him belittling me. All it would have taken was a private message saying I think this is bang out of order, to which I’d have messaged back saying: ‘I’m so sorry, it was just a joke,” added Hartley.