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

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor