Edwards draws Ashes inspiration from men

England could not be better placed going into the Ashes, or what passes for the Ashes in the women's game. Having crushed Australia in the Twenty20 series 4-1 – in the process completing their first limited-overs series triumph Down Under – they look good value to retain the urn.

To do so they will have to win or draw the one-off Test which begins in Sydney tomorrow morning. Charlotte Edwards' side have held the Ashes since 2005 and despite Australian confidence, the omens look good for the tourists. They are expected to welcome back fast bowler Katherine Brunt while Edwards and her Kent colleague Lydia Greenway (who averaged 76 in the T20s) are in ominous batting form.

"She's obviously the spearhead of our attack and we believe she's going to be fit for tomorrow which obviously I'm really excited about," Edwards said of Brunt. "And Laura Marsh has been doing particularly well and Lydia Greenway is in the form of her life."

The Australians, though, cannot be discounted. They won the one-day series that preceded the Twenty20 marathon 2-1 and are the current T20 world champions, having taken England's crown in West Indies last year.

Alex Blackwell, the hosts' skipper, says that her side will be motivated by the Aussie men's defeat in their Ashes series. "It was disappointing to see the men lose the Ashes but hopefully that's something that we can do one better and bring our Ashes home," Blackwell said.

"I'm very excited about the group of girls we've got at the moment and I think this is one of our best chances to get the Ashes back off the English here on home turf."

Blackwell will have to get the better of Edwards, who has enjoyed a hugely impressive career as England captain. England's success in the men's game has come courtesy of Andrew Strauss's strong relationship with coach Andy Flower, and Edwards appears to enjoy a similarly fruitful bond with the women's coach, Mark Lane. Lane is a genial, friendly character but he and Edwards have brought a steeliness to England's cricket that has reaped reward after reward over the past three years – most notable in 2009, when they won the Ashes, the World Twenty20 and the 50-over World Cup in quick succession.

England's only grumble on this tour has been the brevity of the Ashes series itself, the result of an increasing focus on T20 in the women's game. One Test is clearly not enough: the sort of thrilling narrative that so often accompanies a men's Ashes cannot be replicated in just one match.

Difference in series length aside, the excitement of the men's recent triumph has provided extra motivation for the women, Edwards said. "The team have taken a huge amount of inspiration from what the guys have achieved so we'll be looking to do the same," she said. "What the guys did was truly special, so it's certainly something that's really inspiring our team at the moment."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links