Women's Twenty20: 'I really do believe that we'll win it'

England coach Mark Lane is ready to repeat one-day glory

And now for a competition that England might actually win. While the men's World Twenty20 has already seen the home side teetering on the brink of elimination only to overwhelm a half-interested Pakistan, the women's event has had to wait until today to get under way. Taunton will play host to first South Africa against West Indies before England take on India; tomorrow Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Pakistan make their bows.

The favourites are England, who, captained by Charlotte Edwards, became world champions in the 50-over format by beating New Zealand in Sydney in March. Should they repeat that success over the next week-and-a-half, believes coach Mark Lane, it could do wonders for the women's game in this country. "People said to me before we went to Australia 'you've got the World Cup, the T20, the Ashes [which is later this summer]. Which is most important?'" he said.

"I said, 'Look, I'm a proper Englishman, I'd like to win the World Cup in Australia, but the next best thing, to promote our game in our country, is to do well in the T20.' To get more and more people coming to watch. The women are faster, they're more athletic, they hit the ball harder, they use heavier bats. Suddenly the game is really galloping forward."

Galloping fastest, it seems, are England, who hit a few fences in the World Cup but fully deserved their victory. The hero was Claire Taylor, who Lane has worked with as batting coach and mentor for 10 years. She was player of the tournament at the World Cup and subsequently became the first woman to be named as one of Wisden's Cricketers of the Year.

"It was a very emotional journey," said Lane of the World Cup. "My brother spoke to me on the morning of the World Cup final from England – he said, 'You won't believe the interest back here.' It made us want to put in a performance to please everyone."

That they certainly did. Vital to their success was good preparation, and their build-up to the World Twenty20 has been equally relentless. Lane says the aim has been to take the team out of their comfort zone – to which end, they have been playing men's teams. "It was an eye-opener," said Lane. "The ball comes down and gets hit a lot harder. If you bowl a bad ball it goes for six."

The moment of truth comes today. Lane is confident (England beat New Zealand and then lost to Australia in warm-up games this week) but he says the unpredictable nature of Twenty20 makes it hard to pick a winner. "It's not clear cut," he said. "Anyone could beat anyone, really."

The women's game differs from its male equivalent in more than just the ability to hit sixes, says Lane. "There's a bit more enjoyment," he said. "Our girls can't wait to practise. The England men's team play every day and are together every day – with the women, there's more energy."

Energy, a will to learn, team spirit: these are the elements that could make England World Twenty20 champions at Lord's on Sunday 21 June. "I really believe that we'll win it," said Lane. "If we don't, it won't be for the want of trying or preparation. You need luck. But the harder you work, as they say, the more luck you get."



The Sky Sports ECB Coach Education Programme will hold 22,500 coaching sessions for junior girls this summer.

Women's own: Twenty20 details

As with the Men's Super Eights, the women's tournament consists of two pools of four, with the top two sides progressing to the semi-finals. Group games take place at the County Ground in Taunton, between 11-16 June.

Pool A Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and West Indies

Pool B England, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka

Semi-finals

Thurs 18 June: Runner-up of Group A v Winner of Group B (Trent Bridge)

Fri 19 June: Winner of Group A v Runner-up of Group B (The Oval)

Final: Sun 21 June (Lord's)

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

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue
E L James's book Grey is a reminder of how the phenomenon of the best-seller works

Grey is a reminder of how the phenomenon of the best-seller works

It's hard to understand why so many are buying it – but then best-selling was ever an inexact science, says DJ Taylor
Behind the scenes of the world's most experimental science labs

World's most experimental science labs

The photographer Daniel Stier has spent four years gaining access to some of the world's most curious scientific experiments
It's the stroke of champions - so why is the single-handed backhand on the way out?

Single-handed backhand: on the way out?

If today's young guns wish to elevate themselves to the heights of Sampras, Graf and Federer, it's time to fire up the most thrilling shot in tennis
HMS Saracen: Meeting the last survivor of a submarine found 72 years after it was scuttled

HMS Saracen

Meeting the last survivor of a submarine found 72 years after it was scuttled
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Martine Wright lost both legs in the attack – she explains how her experience since shows 'anything is possible'

7/7 bombings 10 years on

Martine Wright lost both legs in the attack – she explains how her experience since shows 'anything is possible'