Bad news comes from Australia that Claire Taylor will not be able to
take part in the ODI series. The ECB press release is terse but to the point
England womenís batter (batsman-Ed.) Claire Taylor has today been ruled out of the
England Womenís One Day International series against Australia women, due to
a shoulder injury sustained during Englandís second warm-up match against
Western Australia on January 3.
Taylorís availability will be reviewed before the start of the women's
England will thus have lost the world's best batsmen (batter is something
that goes around fish!) and the coolest head on the park. Can the rest step
With the warm-up games somewhat lacking in respect of decent opposition it
wasn't the best way to start a series. When the Australians come here
perhaps we can find them a division 3 county to take on. Sorry WA but it has
to be said.
Found on an Australian 'blog'
A quick examination of the batting line-ups of the top test teams shows
that they are dominated by players who made their debut before the advent of
international 20:20 cricket (i.e. Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman, Kallis, Smith,
de Villers, Strauss, Cook, Petersen etc.). Arguably, Australia was the first
to lose its seasoned "old guard" of batsmen. Many of these other nations
will soon lose theirs. We are undergoing the transition to players whose
techniques and attitudes have been forged in an entirely new cricket
environment. What we are seeing reflects this ...
Hurts to say it, but the Aussie is dead right!!
It is only necessary to turn to page three of the Sun
newspaper to gather the intellectual level of the publication. At least I
assume it's still page three as it must be many years since one of my
employees brought a copy in to work. And now comes comments from its cricket
correspondent apparently confirming it prefers to remain in the Dark Ages.
I've been unable to track down the remarks in question but
this rebuff. Particularly interesting I felt was the remark about girls
who play become girls who watch the men's game and thus bring money in to the
ECB. You have only to catch a short session of play on Sky, or visit a men's
international match, to realise how the proportion of men to women in the
crowd has changed over the years. That's one side of the investment in
women's cricket I hadn't thought of before.
The Australia/England ODI and T20 series is done (only 3
ODis - yet 5 T20s - more on that at a later date) and the Ashes Test
looms. And it is to be played at Bankstown! "And your point is?" you
may well ask. Well in an all too brief visit to Australia for the World Cup
I visited (inevitably) quite a few cricket grounds. Bowral was very
picturesque and almost English in its feel. The Museum there held much
women's cricket history, and a match there would have seemed fitting. The
main venue in 2009 was North Sydney Oval, a ground you certainly couldn't
accuse of being 'English' in anyway and anyone would have been proud to say
they'd played a match there. But Bankstown - well as club grounds go I've
seen many worse, but I have also seen many superior. The staff (or club
members?) there were most helpful and I'm sure the shop will offer
spectators good service; the groundstaff may well prepare a good 4-day
wicket, but somehow it leaves me feeling the Australian authorities still
haven't taken the women's sport seriously. When the Ashes were last played
for in England the ECB provided one of the finest grounds in the country at
Worcester, a ground with full first-class cricket status and great
Should Australia win the forthcoming match, I don't doubt
we'll hear plenty from the Aussie media. Did any of them ahead of the match
suggest a more prestigious venue - not that I've noticed.
Meantime I am sure those involved at Bankstown will do their
best to make it a great four days.
Charlotte Edwards holds the Ashes trophy after England
retained them at Worcester in 2009
And as if to emphasise how the players feel, a
Guardian article quotes the England skipper as hoping we can get back to
playing a three match Test series. It seems she's well aware of what real
cricket is about. If we leave it too long then a Test series might well turn into
a shambles for all concerned. All the batsmen (yes - batsmen) will be
expecting to complete four innings in a day, or at least it'll look that way
to the spectators. Let's hope 'Lottie' gets her way and the basic skills in
the game are not lost for a generation.