England women ‘can’t wait’ for their chance to get at the Aussies

Form of Edwards and Taylor will be crucial factor in hosts’ chances of securing series win

Wormsley

The Australian men’s team are the underdogs in the current Ashes series, but their female counterparts  will start as marginal favourites when the women’s equivalent begins at this picturesque ground in Buckinghamshire tomorrow.

The Southern Stars, as the Australians are known, will defend the Ashes – and there are some, a bat signed by both sides having been ceremonially burned following a Test at Lord’s in 1998 and the remains encased in a trophy – over a series comprising a Test, three one-day internationals and three T20 matches.

The second and third of those T20s will be played directly before the men’s matches at the end of this month, but interest in the increasingly strong women’s game is such that many of the players will need little introduction to what are likely to be full houses in Southampton and Durham.

Given Australia are also the current world one-day and T20 champions, the format of six points for winning the Test and two points for winning each of the shorter format fixtures appears to improve their winning chances still further, but recent matches between the sides have been decided by such fine margins – Australia winning by two runs in a World Cup match in Mumbai earlier this year, and by four runs in the World T20 final last October – that England are confident home advantage can make the difference.

“We can’t wait to get at them to be honest,” said England’s Sarah Taylor, ICC world top-ranked batter. “I like the format, the more matches we have in front of our supporters the better. We’re a young side overall, but most of us have a lot of experience now and the warm-up games have gone well.”

In Taylor and captain Charlotte Edwards England have probably the two best and most technically correct batters in women’s international cricket. At 33 Edwards remains the most consistent accumulator in the game, and her hunger for runs appears to be increasing as standards rise. Taylor’s prowess with both bat and gloves is such that Sussex seriously contemplated drafting her into to the county’s second XI earlier this season.

Holly Ferling: The teenage bowler grew up playing men's grade cricket in Queensland Holly Ferling: The teenage bowler grew up playing men's grade cricket in Queensland (Getty)
They will however be facing a genuinely impressive bowling attack spear-headed by two young, athletic pace bowlers in Ellyse Perry and the 17-year-old Holly Ferling, both of whom consistently deliver the ball at over 75mph. As well as her pace, Ferling, who has grown up playing men’s grade cricket in Queensland, gets a steep bounce that makes her consistently dangerous.

Perry, a dual international who also represents her country at football, proved she had recovered from an ankle injury by taking three wickets in a competitive warm-up match at Radlett last week.

After years of struggling for resources, the Australians are now – like the England players – also relatively well-supported. A restructuring announced in May saw 14 leading players given contracts which will see them earn up to $80,000 (£47,500), while there has also been a substantial increase in the player tour payments, from $100 (£59) to $250 (£148) a day.

 



Ashes to Ashes: How England can win

How does the series work?

Unlike previous series, which were decided on one-off Tests, England will play seven matches against Australia, beginning tomorrow with a four-day Test, then three one day internationals and the same number of Twenty20 games

How will the series be decided?

Six points are on offer for the winner of the Test match, while victories in the one day and Twenty20 games will be worth two points.

* Fixtures

Sunday Test match; Wormsley Cricket Ground

20 August First ODI; Lord’s

23 August Second ODI; County Ground, Hove

25 August Third ODI; Hove

27 August First T20I; County Ground, Chelmsford

29 August Second T20I; Rose Bowl, Southampton

31 August Third T20I; Durham ICG

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech

Company reveals $542m investment in start-up building 'a rocket ship for the mind"

News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004
music

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
football

News
i100
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

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album