2016 Diary

A Ramble on Women's Cricket
 - with diversions -

This diary will be updated erratically throughout the year.

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New Book Released

[Based on an ECB Press Release]
An exclusive behind the scenes account of England’s 2015 Women’s Ashes campaign, written by David Tossell, will be released on Friday 15th April. 
 
The 320 page book entitled: “The Girls of Summer: An Ashes Year with the England Women’s Cricket Team” tells the vivid story behind an historic year for the team, which ultimately ended in Ashes heartbreak in front of a record-breaking crowd in Hove.

 

 
To write the book, author David Tossell was given unprecedented access to follow the England women’s team from within the set-up over a nine month period – from freezing training mornings at the National Cricket Performance Centre in Loughborough in January, to the dressing room and team meetings throughout the seven match multi-format Women’s Ashes series against Australia.
 
Speaking about the release of the book, England women’s captain, Charlotte Edwards, said:
 
“I am sure that The Girls of Summer will be a fascinating read.  As a team we welcomed David into the group from the very beginning – he saw, felt and lived every moment with us – from the highs in Taunton and Chelmsford to the lows in Canterbury and heartbreak in Hove.  I will always ultimately reflect on the 2015 Women’s Ashes series with an overriding feeling of disappointment, but there is so much more depth to the story of last summer than the final score line, and we are looking forward to sharing that story through this book.
 
“It is also brilliant news that Chance to Shine will receive some of the book proceeds.  The England women’s cricket team has very close links to the charity through our work as coaching ambassadors for them, so it is excellent that they will benefit in this way.”
 
Author David Tossell added:
 
“Watching the events of such an historic year from close quarters was a real privilege and a fascinating experience.  It was impossible not to get caught up in the emotions of the dressing room and to feel deeply the highs and lows that the girls were going through.  Hopefully, those emotions, plus the great range of characters within the England team, will come across to anyone reading the book."
 
To celebrate the release of the book on Friday 15th April England women’s duo, Charlotte Edwards and Lydia Greenway, will deliver a Chance to Shine coaching session and book signing at Houghton Primary School in Huntingdon – less than ten miles from where the England women’s captain, Charlotte Edwards grew-up in Pidley. 
 
The Girls of Summer includes:
  • All the key on-field moments – and the players’ reaction to them – right up to the dramatic climax of the series, as seen from inside the dressing room
  • Charlotte Edwards describing how she was once almost too intimidated to play the sport with which she has become synonymous, and how she maintains her passion for cricket after two decades in the international game
  • Kate Cross discussing how she fought to overcome the devastating effects of depression to become one of the game’s leading young players
  • Katherine Brunt relating her battles against injury and low teenage self-esteem to become the heartbeat of the team and one of the world’s fastest bowlers
  • Insights into what Edwards says to her team on the eve of a Test, and how coach Paul Shaw set about keeping the girls calm and focused as results began to go against them
  • Discussion of women’s cricket’s development towards a professional era – and what is needed to continue the growth of English cricket, both at international and domestic level
  • The story behind Shaw’s departure as Head of England Women’s Performance at the conclusion of the Women’s Ashes

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Non-England Internationals to Play in the Super-League Announced

 

The names of the internationals (other than the English players which had already been announced) have now been released. The squads are here.

 

If there was an overall impression I obtained as I read down the list it was - where are the Pakistani, Sri Lankan or possibly even Bangladeshi players? I had been wondering if the likes of Sana Mir or Chamari Atapattu might get a spot. Rumour has it more than 80 overseas players asked for a place in one squad or another. With space for just 18, I profess still to be disappointed not to see players of this ilk playing in England this summer, although, of course, I would expect to see Sana Mir with the touring Pakistan side. Eighteen from eighty was never going to be easy and I guess it's possible Atapaatu et al did not put their names forward anyway. I would love to have a look at that list and chose my own eighteen. Many of the players would of course be exactly the same, but all? Probably not - and I doubt if it would agree with your list either.

 

How balanced are the squads? Something I must think about when the rest of the names are released of England Academy and County players...

 

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Drip, Drip, Drip

 

Thoughts of many have turned to the forthcoming Kia Super league (KSL) even though the cricket season is imminent but not even underway for most. The reason, of course, is the drip feed of information being released. First we learned about the overseas players and how they were to be allocated, and this was followed a little later by the England players. Finally we heard about the EWA girls and the county players. This drip, drip, drip is designed to keep interest alive as we all know but there seem to be a number of tricks that are missing. Either no one has thought of them or enthusiasm among the hosts is not high enough (I do hope not!) to warrant the effort. I am referring to the information available on the web. Were it not for a few sites, some run by semi-pros or amateurs, I am not sure much info would have escaped at all.

 

I set out to see if the team lists were available from the hosts sites, with mixed results. A continual gripe of mine too - where are the shirt numbers? I guess they'll be on the printed programmes sold at the grounds. Which suddenly makes think "will there be programmes?". Yes - of course there will. I'll ahve to wait for more info until then I guess.

 

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The County Season Underway

 

And there's only one place you'd expect me to be... You're right, on the boundary of Sussex's two games over the Bank Holiday. I'd gone to watch one team (well, one Sussex team anyway) and drove home having seen two. The one that played against Warwickshire (scorecard) looked as if they hadn't seen green grass for a while (as indeed they hadn't) and were (as someone put it) "ring rusty". Nothing goes right for you when that's the state of things and it certainly didn't go right for Sussex on Day One.  Georgia Adams (45) and Paige Scholfield (20) were the players into double figures until Izzy Noakes appeared at no. 9. A final total of 126 included 37 extras - although 6 were leg-byes.

 

[Georgia Adams © Don Miles]
 

Georgia Adams
If you suspect you see 'dust' on any of the Warks v Sussex pictures it is actually drizzle!

 

[Paige Scholfield © Don Miles]
 

Paige Scholfield

 

During the innings one bowler in particular came to my attention. Sure she wasn't the leading wicket taker on the day, but it's a while since I've seen a leg-spinner produce such turn, and at times bounce, as Georgia Davis (2-30), still just 16 years old. She's one to watch for the future.

 

[Georgia Davis © Don Miles]
 

Georgia Davis

 

This should never have been enough and indeed it wasn't. Sussex claimed an early wicket but then Minahil Zahoor and Anna Lanning put on almost 70 for the second wicket. With Marie Kelly's 31* Sussex's fate was sealed.
[Anna Lanning © Don Miles]
 

Anna Lanning

 

[Minahil Zahoor © Don Miles]
 

Minahil Zahoor digs out a yorker

 

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If the Sunday had been cold and damp, on the Monday the game against Kent was colder and drizzlier - if that's a word. However, Sussex, having had their warm-up decided today was the day they'd start their Championship race in earnest. (Scorecard). Kent won the toss and in view of the weather prospects being so poor made the choice any captain would have made in their position and inserted the home side.
 
[Georgia Elwiss © Don Miles]

 

Sussex skipper and opener, Georgia Elwiss (20 off 15 balls) cuts to the boundary

 

[Georgia Adams © Don Miles]

 

Georgia Adams (53 from 50 balls) drives as James Kirtley (former Sussex fast bowler in black track-suit) looks on.

 

 
The Sussex openers raced away to a fast start in a match shortened to 30 overs, playing as if it were a T20. The final total was helped by two massive 6s in the final over by Izzy Noakes which cleared fences (yes-plural) to finish up on an adjoining football pitch. She was out attempting a third. At 173 (a rate approaching 5.8) it seemed a good score in the appalling conditions but not a great one. Charlotte Pape starred with the ball gaining 3 wickets in her 3.4 overs. It certainly hadn't been a traditional 50-over innings but then that's the peril(?) of reduced overs cricket.
 
Kent's reply looked for a while as if it might follow Warwickshire of the day before, the loss of one quick wicket, in this case the England captain, and then a decent stand by Beaumont and Greenway of 82 threatened to change the complexion of the match..

 

 [Lydia Greenway © Don Miles

 

Lydia Greenway (33)

 
However, Kent needed both this and the following stands to be made at close to a run a ball and when Beaumont departed with the score at 89, they had slipped slightly from this goal but were still well in touch with 8 wkts in hand. Now, however, unlike Warks performance the day before, wickets went down in a clatter due to some fine bowling by Sussex's new signing Danni Wyatt (3), Ellen Burt (2) and Tara Norris (2).
 
[Danni Wyatt  © Don Miles]

 

Sussex's New Signing, Spinner Danni Wyatt (3-23)

 

[Danni Wyatt  © Don Miles]

 

 

[Ellen Burt © Don Miles]

 

Ellen Burt

 
With all the Kent wickets falling, and with Sussex managing more than the required 4 runs/over, the home team's emphatic win gave them not just the victory points but maximum batting and bowling points too! Kent, however, still lead them in the table by virtue of a win over Somerset by a margin of a 'mere' 221 runs!

 

Were there any lessons to be drawn from what, weatherwise, was a really miserable weekend. Well, one stands out to the Sussex faithful from the contrast between these two matches. It is obvious  that teams need warm-up fixtures after the long English winter to even come close to their normal form. While it's true a number of the squad had played an U-19 fixture on the Saturday, this, unfortunately, left them with a long drive the evening before the Warks game. Women's cricket is likely always to suffer with these problems being the 'poor relation' when it comes to booking pitches and similar problems, but it needs to be solved if the County Championship is to continue to feed players to the next level in this sport. There are so few fixtures in the competition that teams need to 'hit the ground running', not use the first fixture to 'warm-up'.

 

A full slide-show from the weekend's matches will be uploaded shortly.

 

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Quote: "I don’t fear losing. I fear playing bad cricket"  Sana Mir

 

And  : "Winning is not everything but wanting to win is" - Vince Lombardi retweeted by Sana Mir

 

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