|Disclaimer & Sundries ...|
All opinions expressed in the pages are my own at the time of typing! My current opinion may be different!
Where articles have been derived from other sources the author's name is given in italics.
An explanation ...
... if one is necessary.
I first became interested in women's cricket one day in 1993 when, having seen around 30 seconds worth on the TV, I discovered that a game was being played at Guildford between England and Australia as part of the World Cup of 1993. In spite of far from pleasant weather, I went to watch. With the England men having such a bad time it was a pleasant change to watch an England side doing well. With Jan Brittin scoring 61 and Carol Hodges 105, I was impressed by the batting. The Australian fielding gave little away and, though I could not stay for the finish of the game, I discovered later England had won.
A trip to Lord's for the 1993 Cup Final followed soon after. At that time, if I had not become a fan before the game, I was by the end! I have taken every opportunity to watch the game at the all levelsl. A video of the 1993 final is (?) available from the ECB. It is modestly(?), though at the time perhaps accurately, titled "Simply the Best", a rendition of which appears on the video. Apart from an excellent introduction to the standard of women's cricket at international level at that time, it confirms what my school cricket master always taught us "that catches win matches". Indeed on that hot sunny day at Lord's I witnessed one of the finest slip catches I have seen in any class of cricket, before or since.
 The "explanation" above was written several years ago. Since then the game has changed enormously and it is quite a revelation to compare the standard of play with that of today. The almost total domination of one-day cricket over Test matches has seen a great improvement in fielding and attacking shot play. It seems to me it has also seen a deterioration in many player's ability to concentrate, and, if necessary, to defend! The Australians may have mocked Jan Brittin, claiming she was asleep on her feet, but you have only to look at the scorecards to see it was a most profitable slumber! And there are very few players around today who could play near 80mph bowling with the confidence she showed in 1998, even if they had the advantage of being wide awake!
That apart, the game at international level has moved on due to greater fitness from the players and no shortage of training aids and kit generally. Modern technology must also play its part with players able to watch their own performances both on Sky TV and, one hopes, at training sessions. The VCR should also enable players at top level to watch their opponents before they meet them in the middle and hopefully try and spot their weaknesses as well as their strengths. To my knowledge, other women's international sides do this, having schemes worked out in advance for all the England batsman. The technology is there (it's not exactly high tech either!) and one hopes England are taking advantage of it prior to this World Cup in 2000. Just to amuse myself I have worked out field settings and types of bowling I think would counter the England batting line up and the Cricket Statz data on this site will tell the world who is most often dismissed by who! (sorry, if you think I have given anything away, but take it from me the top opponents England will face have worked this out already!)
The other great change in recent times has been the interest shown by CricInfo in the women's game. There can be absolutely no doubt that they are the finest cricket site on the Internet! At first women's cricket was, understandably, included more as a passing thought and I know that for a while, no-one could be found to take on the role of looking after it. All that has changed with the appointment of Dianne van Dulken, an unashamed Australian supporter, to run this part of the site. CricInfo's decision to sponsor this World Cup shows that they have every intention (and opportunity!) to feature women's cricket much more prominently then ever before. With their vast resources (and bank account!) there is no reason to suppose they will not do as well at this as they have done for some years with the men's game.
Accordingly, the emphasis on this site will be changing as it has never been my intention to try and compete with them (as if I could if I wanted to!). Thus this site will become more what I suppose some followers suspect it has been for a while anyway, an England supporter's club corner!! Those who have met me will know I am a loyal, though not necessarily uncritical, follower of the side. This means you will have seen me for instance at match 5 of the Australian tour in 1998 when England went down predictably to their first 5-0 series defeat. It has always seemed to me a fan supports his/her side when it's "down" as well as when it's "up". The words I might be uttering to anyone willing to sit near me might be different in either case, but I'll be there! Far too frequently, journalists forget that players do not take the field trying to do badly. They may have good days and bad days, and plain lucky and unlucky days, but their intention will always be to play to the best of their ability. Even assuming all goes as well as it might, they will still usually be beaten by better sides. It would be an odd game indeed if the poorer side won on a consistent basis.
If I can give an example of a game when England were beaten but where I left the ground satisfied they had done all they could, it would be the match against Australia at Hove in 1998. Anyone surveying those sides must surely come to the conclusion that Australia were the better side to the tune of 30-40 runs or so, but England had fought well. England supporters could feel that but for an horrendous injury to Jan Brittin, and a pulled muscle by Charlotte Edwards when in full flow, the result might well have been different. England could hold their heads up in the bar that evening despite a defeat. The following match however, told a very different story and regular supporters were left wondering where all the fire and confidence had gone! To make it worse, Sky carried the later match but not the earlier!
Thus in coming seasons I hope to bring you the England home internationals in pictures (and maybe words!), and probably more editorial comment than I have been accustomed to using in the past. If you agree or disagree with me email and say so and I'll be happy to add your thoughts (as long as they are non-libelous and decent!). Just indicate whether you wish your email address to be added to your comments.
I hope also to cover the domestic game rather more, especially the County Championships at Cambridge, and sundry matches I get the chance to watch during the season.
If you have any ideas to improve this site, I'd be pleased to hear them. Do remember that this site is maintained purely as a hobby (unless anyone would like to pay me to keep doing it <g>!)
... and apologies ...
I am unsure whether I should apologize to those individuals who I have not included in these pages - or to those I have! The choice of whom to include and exclude is completely arbitrary and dependent on who I have been fortunate enough to watch for a few matches and on whom I have sufficient information and pictures.
I must stress that the idea for these pages and their content is entirely "down to me". Having searched the Net and found relatively few references to Women's Cricket when I started the page, it seemed, (to me anyway), that this growing sport deserves wider publicity.
Fortunately more sites are now appearing - see links page - and other sites, especially CricInfo & the BBC, are covering women's matches, at least those at international level.
I must also apologise for the colour scheme originally chosen for these pages to anyone who struggles regularly with PAYE. I had completed most of this re-write by the time I discovered it is used by the Inland Revenue for a range of their publications. I hope you'll find the content here rather more entertaining! The blue/blue which is gradually taking over may have happier connections.
 Since writing about the colour scheme the BBC have been kind enough to flatter me by copying it for BBC News 24. It appears I must be doing something right!
 The colour scheme has now completely altered and I leave the remarks above in place to show the site has kept changing, if only because I got bored with its current look. The more material I have uploaded, the more complex has become the job of keeping the links working accurately. Don't hesitate to let me know if you spot any errors! The coverage will remain as eclectic as ever, dependent entirely on whim, time, and whether that great shot I took of you turned out to be in focus.
A T-Shirt to Remember
Seen on the back of a black T-shirt at the Lord's 1-day match ...