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
  • Get to the point
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 People

Recruitment Genius: HR and Payroll Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This dynamic outsourced contact...

Recruitment Genius: Production & Quality Control Assistant

£19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity for a ...

Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor - Kettering - £32,000

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor with an established...

Guru Careers: HR Manager / HR Generalist

£40 - 50k (DOE) + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a HR Manager / HR Genera...

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing