Sport on TV: Girls just want to have fun but there's 10,000 watching

 

The England women's victory in the Ashes was arguably more of an achievement than the men's. It was completed across all three formats of the game – a multi-tasking Ashes, something the menfolk would obviously be incapable of – and they had to win the urn back off an Australian team who were actually half-decent.

And yet there's still no equality at the top of the game. The men were allowed to sit around on the field and drink copious beers, and even queer the pitch with their effluent. But if the women had tried anything like that, they would have been summarily turfed off. Unlike the blokes, who were cavorting under cover of darkness, there would have been about 10,000 people watching the girls celebrate, because the men's T20 match was staged straight afterwards. The women weren't even allowed squatting rights in either sense of the word.

Both male and female England teams have turned themselves into highly professional outfits who are very focused on their goals. But while Cook's men have been accused of being attritional and, well, boring – a charge that was once laid at the door of women's cricket in general – Charlotte Edwards's side won the Ashes with a thrilling display at the Rose Bowl (Sky Sports Ashes, Thursday).

Lydia Greenway came in at 9 for 3 – "England are in complete disarray," squawked Paul Allott – and proceeded to hit reverse sweeps to the boundary off her fourth and fifth balls; for the sixth, she charged down the wicket and should have been stumped by a mile, but she survived. "I had to dig in with Charlotte, and we rebuilt," she said, and one wonders how she bats when she's not digging in.

One refreshing aspect of the women's game is the lack of pouting and posturing. Danni Hazell dropped a sitter early in the match but she just kept smiling and laughing about it, and no one seemed to mind too much. No "double teapot" hands on hips, no glowering Stuart Broad among the broads. Then you realise that she's always got a big grin on her face.

That's not to say they don't get upset, though. When the batters are dismissed they can flounce off with the best of them – and somehow that huffy waddle is a lot more acceptable than when Kevin Pietersen does it.

Clare Connor, Edwards's predecessor as captain, was in the commentary box, and at the start of England's run-chase her voice was cracking with emotion. "I know what it means to them," she croaked as Allott waded in with some patriarchal patronising: "You're supposed to be impartial, you know. But we'll let you off."

Every male England captain can expect to become a commentator within minutes of announcing his retirement, and it doesn't take long for them to become jaded and cynical. So after a week that witnessed the passing of rugby's great enthusiast Cliff Morgan, it's good to know that the game still genuinely matters to some pundits.

* As if the Champions' League draw (Sky Sports News, Thursday) didn't go on too long anyway, Billy McNeill managed to drag it out even further by being unable to open the balls after he had got them out of the bowls. Luis Figo and Johan Cruyff must have been wondering who he was. He must have been a player, but his ball skills weren't up to much.

Jamie Redknapp was sporting a full beard for the draw, looking as if he had got stranded at the airport on some Thomson holiday that had gone horribly wrong. Perhaps he is aping Jeremy Paxman with the hirsute look in the hope that it will make his observations seem more acute and penetrating. But sadly it takes more than a bit of fluff on your chin, Jamie. Your analysis will never be razor-sharp.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Arts and Entertainment
JK Rowling will not be releasing a 'romance' novel anytime soon
books
Life and Style
tech

Of all the computers Apple has ever made there’s only one that Steve Jobs had to sell his car to finance

Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidates on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
One of the 'princesses' in the video
videoYouTube reinstates sweary video after takedown for 'violating terms'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Head of Finance - Media

£80000 - £90000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: Working for an International Mul...

Head of Finance - Media

£80000 - £90000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: Working for an International Mul...

Business Development Manager

£25000 - £27000 per annum + Bonus: Sauce Recruitment: Within your role as Busi...

IT Graduate

£15 - 20k: Guru Careers: We are looking for an eager IT Graduate / Technology ...

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?