A delighted Charlotte Edwards reflected on one of her “proudest moments in cricket” after England regained the Women’s Ashes with a game to spare.
A five-wicket T20 victory over Australia at the Ageas Bowl, ushered in by Lydia Greenway’s unbeaten 80, gave England an unassailable 10-4 lead in the new multi-format points table ahead of Saturday’s series finale in Durham.
Success was all the sweeter for Edwards and her players given the pain they suffered over the winter, when Australia not only replaced England as 50-over world champions, but also inflicted defeat on their great rivals in the World Twenty20 final.
Speaking to ecb.co.uk after yesterday’s triumph, Edwards said: “This is probably one of my proudest moments in cricket, especially with the new format.
“To beat the world champions after the winter we had is a pretty special feeling.”
While thrilled with the efforts of her players, Edwards also paid tribute to England’s backroom staff.
“We’ve had a tough winter and a lot of credit has to go to our coaching team and Paul Shaw, who’s galvanised this team who were pretty low on confidence,” she added.
“They’ve shown an immense belief in us and the players have repaid them.”
England have now won four matches in a row, having been 4-2 down following defeat in the first one-day international at Lord’s.
“I’m just pleased to stand here, with one game left, having won the Ashes,” Edwards said.
“At Lord’s that looked a long way off, so the character this team has shown … I love every single one of them.”
Greenway, whose innings represented a new format best for England, unsurprisingly came in for particularly high praise.
“I’ve just witnessed one of the best Twenty20 innings there from Lydia Greenway,” said the captain.
“She didn’t come into the game with a huge amount of form but that’s the kind of characters we’ve got in our dressing room, who can perform on the big stage when required.”
Elaborating on Greenway’s ability to play a variety of sweep strokes, a smiling Edwards continued: “It’s a nightmare for a captain. I’m glad I play with her and not against her!
“She’s got all those shots; she trains hard and she pulled it out on the big stage – there’s no bigger stage than this and winning the Ashes for England.”
The final game in the series sees the two sides clash at Emirates Durham ICG on Saturday.
It will prove a fitting finale for spinner Durham-born Danielle Hazell.
“Durham is my home ground and I am obviously looking forward to playing here and lifting the Ashes here,” she said.
“I’m going to have family and friends come along and hopefully we should have a big crowd before the men play too.”
However, the 25-year-old is quick to point out that the Ashes are not quite over yet and England Women require one more big effort before attention turns to the winter.
“Tomorrow is still an international game of cricket and we’re still looking to put in a good performance and to win the game,” she added.
“We’ll try to get more points on the board and a better performance to hopefully build towards going back down to Australia to keep them.
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