Passed/Failed: An education in the life of Charlotte Edwards, captain of the England women's cricket team

'They treated me like one of the lads'


Charlotte ("Lottie") Edwards, 29, was at 16 the youngest woman to play cricket for England and in 2006 became captain of the team. It won the last two Ashes and she is now its leading run-scorer. She is also the captain of the Kent team and a coach in the Chance to Shine scheme, which encourages cricket in state schools. On 11 June, she will be playing at Taunton against India in the Women's World Twenty20.



The first reaction of the guys I played against was, "Oh, they've got a girl!" but after I had hit my first ball they realised I was good and let me get on with it. My love for the game came from my family: my dad and my uncle played. I was lucky to have my older brother; for years I bowled at him in the garden and if I bowled him out he would let me have a bat.

We lived in the Fens and I went to Somersham County Primary near Huntingdon. I loved it. I did the work but sport was my main love and I looked forward to playtime. My first introduction to "kwik cricket" was at the age of 10; this has plastic balls, no pads, and eight players – four have to be girls – and is loads of fun. There is a girls-only competition now. My school got into the regional finals and I was spotted then by the coach for the boys county "proper" cricket team.

From 11 to 14 I was at Ailwyn School and then went to Ramsey Abbey next door. (It is now one big school called Abbey College.) The teachers encouraged me to play cricket. When I was 14 or 15, my PE and form teacher Jo Brown (now Mrs Jones) nominated me for the Sunday Times Schoolgirl of the Year competition. This was for all sports across the board and I was the runner-up.

From an early age I had a lot of media attention and I was quite a popular girl at school. All through my time there I was captain of my year-group team and there was never another girl in the team. The boys treated me as one of the boys. The girls played rounders. I played rounders and tennis, too; if I hadn't played other sports, I think I would have got fed up. In the winter I played hockey and netball and, once I'd made the England under-19s at the age of 12, I would be in the nets.

At GCSEs I got an A in PE, Bs in English literature and French. I hadn't really enjoyed English until the last couple of years when I had Mrs Fairclough, the deputy head; and the French result was a miracle! I got Cs in the rest.

I didn't get general science: I was playing cricket on the day of the physics part of the exam. I went for a year to Cambridge Regional College for a leisure and tourism GNVQ. I didn't do the second year as I was offered a sales job by my sponsor, Hunts County Bats. Also, I had a big tour and would have missed three months of school.

When not playing cricket, I spend 25 hours a week coaching in the Chance to Shine scheme, mostly girls in my case. I'm as much of a cricket professional as a woman's going to get.

What would I have done if I hadn't had cricket as a career? I think I'd have been a teacher; I enjoy my coaching. Or I'd have gone into the police. I'd have been quite good. I'm a pretty nosy kind of person.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Ashdown Group: Human Resources Manager

£28000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: A successful organisation...

Recruitment Genius: Internal Recruiter - Manufacturing

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Internal Recruiter (manufact...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager (CIPD) - Barking / East Ham - £50-55K

£50000 - £55000 per annum + 25 days holidays & benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Man...

Recruitment Genius: Operations / Project Manager

£40000 - £48000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This software company specialis...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent