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
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
Arts and Entertainment
The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
filmTim Walker settles down to watch the controversial gross-out satire
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
Sport
Rooney celebrates with striker-partner Radamel Falcao after the pair combine to put United ahead
footballManchester United vs Newcastle match report
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

Ashdown Group: Brand Marketing Manager - Essex - £45,000 + £5000 car allowance

£40000 - £45000 per annum + car allowance: Ashdown Group: Senior Brand Manager...

Guru Careers: .NET Developer /.NET Software Developer

£26 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a .NET Developer /.NET Software ...

Guru Careers: Graduate Marketing Analyst / Online Marketing Exec (SEO / PPC)

£18 - 24k (DOE): Guru Careers: A Graduate Marketing Analyst / Online Marketing...

Guru Careers: Technical Operations Manager

£Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Technical Ope...

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all