An England cricketer on the rigours of the Women's World Cup in India
Monday: We've been here two weeks and have clocked up about 100 hours' travelling, as well as playing six matches. It's been tough but we've seen a lot of the country. I feel sad about it. There's the splendour of the hotels, and then you go outside and there are people living under sheets. Some of our railway journeys have meant literally stepping over people on our way to the train. Then again Indians have an amazing capacity for getting on with life. We haven't seen any road rage, even though the traffic's appalling. Yesterday we were in Chandigarh for our quarter- final match against Sri Lanka. It was lush and gorgeous - the only trouble was the temperature was five degrees - pretty chilly. People seemed to think we'd be used to it and it would put us at an advantage. Sri Lanka are going to be a good side, but we won fairly easily, so now we were in the semis - against New Zealand on Friday - and would have to travel to Madras. We got back to Delhi last night, and some of the team went shopping today. We'd reckoned on getting at least that far before the tournament started, so none of us had made plans for Christmas at home. We're all amateurs and have had to take time off work to play. I'm a sales development co-ordinator at British Airways. We've got teachers, bank cashiers, students, a bookmaker, a petrol pump attendant - a real mix. There are 14 players plus manager, coach, assistant coach, physio and sports scientist. The spirit's tremendous.

TUESDAY: We had to leave the hotel at 4am for a 6am flight to Madras, but we were delayed at the airport and didn't leave until 11.30am. On the coach from Madras airport we ran into a demonstration by post office workers and that held us up again. By the time we got to the hotel there was only time to have a meal and go to bed.

WEDNESDAY: As we had to play on Boxing Day we decided to make Christmas Eve our Christmas Day. Plus it was our wicketkeeper Jane Cassar's birthday. So after training for two hours this morning we made some decorations and hats out of whatever we could lay our hands on and tried to organise the nearest thing to a Christmas dinner. It started out with a drink in the Bamboo Bar and then dinner, with a live band. It really was a good bash.

THURSDAY: Christmas Day. Lots of phone calls home but no tears that I could see. I've got my mum and dad, nan and grandad at home in Chessington. We're going to have our Christmas together next week. As it's been 30 degrees here and we've been so involved with our cricket, it hasn't felt like Christmas. We had a lie-in, lunch, then went to ground to practise. That was followed by a big team meeting, then dinner and bed.

FRIDAY: There were about 5,000 people in the ground: there's been a lot of interest in the tournament. We've even had ball-by-ball coverage on television. We lost the toss and New Zealand batted. We got an early wicket and our performance in the field was superb. We had them at 118 in the 40th over, but they got up to 170 for five in their 50 overs. Still, we thought it was a gettable total. Unfortunately we batted poorly. The wicket was slow and low, and it was harder to score runs than we thought. I got 32, but we ended up losing by 20 runs. We tried to pull ourselves together afterwards. We'd have had Australia in the final, and it would have been a chance to avenge our only defeat in our group matches. I'm 37 now and my reaction was: "That's it, time to retire." My family would be disappointed because I'm quite close to a few records - like Rachael Heyhoe Flint's for highest run aggregate for England. But it's been a good innings and I'm not sure I want to keep going through the summer. I'll have to think about it some more.

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