England captain: The job nobody can prepare for

In the second part of our interview with Charlotte Edwards, Casey Stoney and Katy McLean, the skippers tell Robin Scott-Elliot about the pride responsibility and difficulty of leading the country

This is the first time you have sat down together – all the captains of the big three – and talked leadership. What sort of a captain are each of you, the "once more unto the breach" type?

Katy McLean Yes I'm probably like that, a bit of a shouter.

Casey Stoney Me too.

Charlotte Edwards I'm pretty hard. I don't shout but they know who is in charge.

CS When people need a kick up the backside you give it to them, especially in training where you want to create a competitive environment. But there is no point in me saying you need to do this and not doing it myself – you have to lead by example. I'm not afraid not to be liked either if that's what's necessary.

It must change your relationship with other players, people who are your friends?

CE You don't realise they [the other players] are looking at every single move you make. I've had to drop mates sometimes. It can be hard but they know I'm doing the best for the team. You have to be thick-skinned.

KM It can be quite lonely sometimes. It's a big step that nobody prepares you for.

CS I was lucky as I was vice-captain for a while but it's different when you make that step up, although I don't have half the responsibility that you do Charlotte.

CE When you are away for five or six weeks, it's a long time to keep everyone happy. That's probably the hardest part, making sure that they all get on. I feel like a social worker at times.

CS Sometimes you just want to go in your room and shut the door…

CE Then you get a knock on the door and you're like 'oh no, what's this about'. But they need to feel they can approach me. And then you have got to perform – I have to open the batting and I've got to score runs.

You can separate the responsibilities of captain from your responsibilities as a player?

CE Yes. I'm there to do a job – to score runs and if I do we'll be successful. In cricket you can make more of an impact individually. You're an individual in a team sport.

CS That's massive, performing well. If you keep performing well, hopefully you get others to strive to match your performance. If you are not performing then that makes it more difficult. You're not always confident. Sometimes you have to put a front on.

CE I agree. I have gone through times when I have not scored runs for England. You have got to be the same person [with the your team-mates] you were when you got a hundred. Consistency of behaviour [as a captain] is important.

Has the role changed you, or are you natural leaders?

CE I think I am quite natural. I've always wanted to do it.

CS I've been a captain at every club I've been at since I was 20 so there has always been something in me. I didn't realise how much pressure came with [captaining England] – but it's pressure I enjoy.

KM I'm quite outspoken and if there's something I don't agree with I will end up saying it. There have been times when I felt I want to be in the middle of my friends but you think I can't right now because I am captain. That's always there.

CE You have to be self-aware and aware of others. But be you. Don't try and be someone you are not.

So what does it feel like to lead out your country?

KM It was my ultimate dream. I've always wanted to captain my country, as ridiculous as that might sound. The only thing that would be better – the pinnacle – would be to lift a World Cup as England captain.

CE You feel 10 foot tall. When I walk through the Long Room at Lord's [she puffs up her cheeks and exhales slowly]. There are some feelings I never thought you would experience –I've been fortunate enough to lift the World Cup.

Describe that?

CE Relief! I had played for so long – it was my fourth World Cup. You know what it makes you feel? It makes you want to do it again.

CS You do stand taller. I could burst with pride when we walk out the tunnel, especially when we were at Wembley [against Brazil in the Olympics].

CE I well up. When the national anthem comes on I'm there going: 'God, don't cry'!

CS I end up clenching my jaw. I walked out at Wembley going: 'job to do, don't get emotional.' You think if I start singing I will cry and that's no good! You could burst with pride, honestly. It's the best feeling – for all the crap you might get, the down moments, the stress, it's all worth it when you walk out on that pitch.

Voices
voices
News
general electionThis quiz matches undecided voters with the best party for them
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen starred in the big screen adaptation of Austen's novel in 2005
tvStar says studios are forcing actors to get buff for period roles
News
Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge show their newly-born daughter, their second child, to the media outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on 2 May 2015.
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Ashdown Group: Part-time Payroll Officer - Yorkshire - Professional Services

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful professional services firm is lo...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before