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On top of the world

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Ebony Rainford-Brent Ebony Rainford-Brent | 10:18 UK time, Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Wow! What can I say??? Two days after the final and I am still absolutely gobsmacked. The magnitude of what happened over the last few days hadn't really sunk in until at breakfast yesterday, there was Lottie (Charlotte Edwards) on the front page of the Times newspaper holding the World Twenty20 trophy. I nearly choked.

The feel of the tournament as a whole was really different to the World Cup in Sydney as being at home meant we felt the full impact our success is having on all areas, from media coverage to the level of interest in our sport.

The support we received has been fantastic - well wishes from Gordon Brown and David Cameron and some of the England boys really kept us going and being able to fill up Taunton in the group matches and getting good sized crowds for the semi and final at The Oval and Lord's was great.

Hearing the chants for England every time we took a wicket sent chills down my back and was definitely a far cry from a few of the chants I remember a few years ago of 'Get back in the kitchen!'

England celebrate victory at Lord's

Getting to the final from the thriller against the Aussies was amazing, especially as it dispelled any doubts about whether we were mentally up to the task, and the way Tails (Claire Taylor) and Beth (Morgan) batted really showed how far we have come as a team.

In the Sydney World Cup we weren't really under the same pressure when we played the Aussies as we had all ready qualified for the final by then, but the semi-final at The Oval was life or death and the excitement was incredible.

The final itself had a different emotional feel for the group. There were no tears at all and from a bunch of women that is saying something! As we all hugged and looked at each other there was mainly shock that we had done it; I think we were all just stunned and the feeling was surreal.

I guess the match itself was also different as we didn't make the same mistake as we did in the World Cup final when we let the Kiwis back in to have a sniff of victory - we just kept coming hard at them. Nunny's (Katherine Brunt) spell of bowling was full of fire, and brilliant to watch, especially her shoulder shuffling celebrations!

It is such a special unit to be a part of - more like a family than a group of friends - and I know this is a year I will look back on in years to come and realise how fortunate I am to be involved in this era of women's cricket and being able to watch the game go from strength to strength.

I enjoyed spending a moment with Tails after the presentation. She was lying on the floor with her stunning and very heavy sterling silver trophy, soaking up the atmosphere, and it dawned on me I was in the presence of an absolute living legend -and I felt I had to tell her that.

I have had the honour to play and win trophies alongside arguably the best female batter the world has ever seen. To win two player of the tournaments back to back under immense pressure and competition shows what she is made of and the rest of us batters behind her can learn a lot from her.

Later, the celebrations happened in style in London, which were topped off while I was boogying on the dance floor and heard a massive cheer from the other girls when the highlights of our game appeared on the the big screen. Quality!!!

We couldn't really get too carried away as we had a 9:15am photoshoot with the trophy next morning at my favourite bridge in the world, Tower Bridge. It was made even more special as the Mr Boris Johnson himself popped over to have a few photos with us, taking time out from his busy schedule as mayor.

The England women's team meet the Mayor of London

But there is no rest for the wicked - we have today off and then it's back to business for our series against the Aussies, starting with training in Derby on Wednesday. I am really looking forward to it and think it will be closely contested; the Aussie girls are going to be pumped up and if the semi-final is anything to go by there will be a lot of exciting cricket.

I know our camp is up for it and we will have to approach it with the same intensity and discipline if we want to finish off the international summer in style.

It's already been a great year - one more trophy would make it just about perfect.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Congrats to all of the ladies! They did better than the men!

  • Comment number 2.

    Congratulations - my daughter Zoe has just about forgiven me for not taking her to the final, but we had a league match that morning. She didn't have to bat so she was glued to the TV for most of the match.

    Most importantly you're excellent role models, sporting heroines and world champions that all young female cricketers can relate to.

    I've promised to take her to one of the Aussie matches.

    Keep up the good work...

  • Comment number 3.

    Congratulations on your success in the World T20 - the team's performance against the Aussie girls was one of the highlights for me (England men's team take note !!). You girls deserve all the accolades that may come your way (any chance of an OBE perhaps ??). Enjoy your mini break before taking on the Aussies and best of luck with that.

  • Comment number 4.

    Charlotte's crew have shown us the value of team spirit, aggression in the field, courage, commitment, self-belief as well as the skill and imagination that are a given at this level of their sport.

    Not only have they inspired girls and women in this country to take up the great game but, around the world, women of the cricketing nations now know that they will have to raise their own game to a whole new standard in order to face England.

    In a very real sense, on Sunday at Lord's, cricket came home.

    We can only hope that our men's team have been watching and learning.

  • Comment number 5.

    Brilliant, congratulations to everyone involved. Loving the photoshoot with Boris - there's a caption competition there if ever i've seen one...

  • Comment number 6.

    Congratulations to the girls.

    Sod Boris Johnson, why aren't you meeting the Queen. Get the open-top bus out.

    http://sportingchameleon.wordpress.com/

  • Comment number 7.

    alwaysindoubt @5

    What a great idea! ........ Boris is saying, "I think I've been called over because we've won the Olympics."

  • Comment number 8.

    Is this what they get for winning the world cup - a photo opportunity with Boris Johnson!? Poor girls would have been better off without winning it.

  • Comment number 9.

    Brilliant ladies absolutely brilliant. although you were front page news on the Times, the rest of the newspapers treated you like second hand news next to the F1 Motor racing which was unforgivable. The only great shame about our victory is that the majority of the public were unable to see you live which was for me bad judgemnt who ever made that.The element that was needed for your final was that it should have been free to air live tv coverage so it could involve the nation like the OLYMPICS , THE ASHES IN 2005 and the Rugby Union World Cup in both 2003 and 2007. All those events were free to air live tv coverage. When we next see you in the Ashes or the next WORLD cups in both 50 and 20 to retain them, they really have to be on live free to air tv and not some pathetic highlights programme near midnight wher the majority of children wanting to watch it couldn't. This fact has been sadly overlooked. The crowds were fantastic at the actual games but it was only spread over 3 venues which was spreading things thinly on the ground. You deserve now to be really seen by a larger majority of public who would watch you on free to air live tv. Besides this you still deserve an open top bus parade in London FOR WHAT YOU HAVE ACHEIVED. Although there has been a lot of money invested in the game from the deal of pay for view, it has left standing out in the cold the next genertation of cricket fans who want to find their cricketing heroes but couldn't all because of pay for view tv live. I am hoping soon we will see you on some live free to air live coverage which you deserve in your own country. Congratulations but also think about your main viewing public at home.

  • Comment number 10.

    Ebony is without doubt the best looking Cricket player ever to play the game,she is stunning.,

    I am watching the T20 game v Aussies now and waiting to see her bat.

    Well done England ladies,you make me proud to be British,your all world beating heroines.

  • Comment number 11.

    A bit of a blip today at Derby. I find myself having to lean on "the positives." Very positive that Rainford-Brent stepped up to the mark with 23no; positive that Morgan continued to show she can offer both support (again to SC Taylor) - and attack in her own right.

    Wickets continue to elude Guha, although she shows an admirable economy rate. Maybe it's early days, but I wondered if Hazell too might be given a run out. It was, after all, a match with nothing at stake, except, of course, that there is never nothing at stake against the Aussies.

    As we approach the ODIs, Rolton seems to be coming ominously into form. Heads down! We gotta stop her!

  • Comment number 12.

    Huge congratulations to the entire squad.

  • Comment number 13.

    As I blogged somewhere else, I expect the Eng/Aus series to be very close indeed. The Aussies have an awesome batting line up.

    It will be interesting to see how EJCLRCRB (that's Ebony's full set of initials - fantastic) and the rest of the middle order fair. Taking the "middle order" to exclude Squirt, Shaggy, Tails and Lottie the scores of the other recognised batsmen have been 46,37,32,27,22,22,21,20,19,18,17,16,12,11,10,9,9,8,8,8,6,6,6,6,5,4,4,4,3,3,2,2,1,1,1,0 in the India 2008 series, the World Cup and the 20-20 World Cup. Granted some of these scores are as a result of final overs slogging but it would be great to see a 50+ from someone outside the top 4.


  • Comment number 14.

    Monday - Chelmsford - 11.54 BST - England have Australia at 39/5 - Not an online supporter, 606er, commentator in sight - why not?

    btw. Edwards has flu. Hope she recovers for tomorrow! Shaw apparently doing well in the captain's role.

  • Comment number 15.

    Chelmsford, Monday, post-match:

    Well! Once again our notoriously fragile middle order batting made little contribution today - hahahahaha!!!!!! - Well done England! Well done Shaw for stepping into the captain's shoes so effectively. Well done Brunt & Colvin for taking their batting apart. Well done SJ Taylor - my player of the match: three catches, one stumping and 68 Aussie-bashing runs!

    Roll on tomorrow. It's a day/nighter, so England can maybe hope for a little more online support. I saw precious little today.

  • Comment number 16.

    The fact that the middle did not have to bat today provides no evidence either way as to their ability to contribute scores greater than 50 when needed so "hahahahaha" doesn't really contribute much knowledge to the debate. All I did was list the scores (ie facts), provided a migating reason (final over slogging) and then made the positive assertion that it would be great to see a score greater than 50. Don't really think this is worthy of ridicule.

  • Comment number 17.

    LB - It certainly was not ridicule. It was just a joke in the light-headedness of the victory moment - and not one against you. If it settles you, I value the posts you put in.

  • Comment number 18.

    FJH - okay I accept the "hahahahaha" as a jocular "hahahahaha" rather than an aggressive "hahahahaha". Any light headedness in the moment of a 9 wicket victory over the Aussies is most understandable !

  • Comment number 19.

    LB - ¡Muy bien! - you had me worried - we're on the same side and there are precious few of us. To tomorrow!

  • Comment number 20.

    No doubt the entire squad has proved the are the best in this sport, congrats to all of the team fro their great efforts to get this furit of winners and also carry on the same spirit in future too, don't stay or sit just prepare for the next sport whereever it is and whomsoever in front of you.

    All the best to all the team, coaches, supporters and fans.

    Cheers:-)

  • Comment number 21.

    Sometimes I just don't get it. In a couple of hours we take the field in the second ODI v Australia at Chelmsford. Yesterday (according to cricinfo), our captain had the flu & couldn't play. What about today? What about now? Let me put it like this...

    An England cricket captain is doubtful for a game against Australia, owing to illness. Two hours before the match, there is not one scrap of info as to how that England captain is getting on. That's unheard of! - Isn't there one person in the whole of BBC cricket who can get on the phone to Chelmsford, find out what's going on and inform the public?

  • Comment number 22.

    Another lovely innings by Sarah Taylor and the gorgeous Ebony Rainford-Brent is showing that she is a great player as well as the prettiest girl in the world,she would be great at opening in my opinion as she looks like a great hitter and will always be sure to get England off to a flyer.
    Great stuff so far ladies.

  • Comment number 23.

    Whoopee! Two - nil up in the series! That was a hard-fought victory.

    England didn't have it all their own way today. First, they lost Atkins with only a dozen or so on the board. However, thanks to our two Taylors, Morgan and Rainford-Brent, we posted a decent total.

    Then, after an explosive opening by Brunt (what's new?), we had to keep it very tight against Nitschke & Sthalekar who both got in and looked threatening. But we got through that. Then Marsh & Colvin had to winkle away at Rolton, Blackwell, Fields, Farrell - and Ebsary in particular. But we did that too, thanks to a wonderful team effort. Many congratulations to stand-in captain Nicky Shaw, who wound things up with Ebsary's wicket.

    Women of steel, we breed. Women of steel.

  • Comment number 24.

    Congrats to the ladies...they showed that cricket is not only men's game.
    i like the way they've played against aussies in semi final...that showed how mature they are...weldone girls.
    Lahori

  • Comment number 25.

    Tut tut, EJCLRCRB, run out backing up too far ! Although Beth taking on Ellyse Perry's arm is probably worth 3 tuts !
    Great game. Last ball, 2 to win, Boggy blasts it down deep midwicket's throat, who drops it and we run the 2 for victory. First 1-day series win against the Aussies for about 30 years or so. Great team effort.

  • Comment number 26.

    For any "Anoraks" ......
    Q1: Is it the first time in an ODI series (men or women) that 2 consecutive games have been won off the last ball ?
    Q2: Is it the first time in international ODI cricket (men or women) that the same player has scored the winning runs off the last ball of the game in 2 consecutive games ?

  • Comment number 27.

    Congratulations on everything you`ve achieved girls. You`re all a great credit to the sport, and silenced all doubts of every fuddy-duddy who ever criticised the womens` game. Good luck on Tuesday (tomorrow). Go for the kill and a clean sweep. And good luck for the forthcoming Ashes too. Go England!! Show the Aussies how to play the game!!

  • Comment number 28.

    Well done indeed, this England team: a superb run of form. You've silenced all of us who thought you only batted down to #4! It's no exaggeration to say you're a team of world beaters.

    I hope the sun shines at Lord's tomorrow, that attendance soars, that we get another cracking game - and of course, being partial, I'm hoping for the whitewash. There wont be a single Aussie who is, but let's put it over them one more time for good measure - and then let's retain the Ashes.

    I'd say "good luck," but teamwork, skill and application have brought you through so far, so let's have more of those qualities.

  • Comment number 29.

    In case anyone is remotely interested in the questions posed at #26 ....
    There have been 29 occasions in mens ODIs of a team winning on the last ball, in all cases that being the team batting 2nd winning. None of these have involved more than 1 in a series so certainly not 2 in consecutive matches.
    Up to the 2nd July 2009 there had been 7 occasions in womens ODIs of a team winning on the last ball, in all cases that being the team batting 2nd winning. None of these have involved more than 1 in a series so certainly not 2 in consecutive matches.
    Suspect England may hold this record for some time.
    Suspect Laura Marsh may hold the record forever.

  • Comment number 30.

    Shame about the whitewash. The same happened last year, I seem to remember. But we won the series and there's very little more to be said, maybe apart from "Wonderful, marvellous, the mighty team! Hallelujah!"

    The Ashes to go, for a clean sweep. That would be cool, cooler, coolest.

  • Comment number 31.

    I have been an ex pat for 42 years and a cricket fan for 66. Unfortunately here in Vancouver cricket is way down the totem poll for interest.I have been amazed at the incredible talents and achievements of Englands lady cricketers.We do not get to see any of the games and only the results on the BBC website. Judging by the comments ladies cricket is not on prime time in the UK either. One can only hope that these incedibly talented ladies are given the credit for being double world champions what other group of athletes can claim this record. Hope to see them on North American T.V. one day. Any thoughts to making a video of their remarkable success?

  • Comment number 32.

    In the UK all of the TV coverage of cricket comes courtesy of Sky TV and not via the BBC, which only has radio commentary (TMS). There are short highlights of some of the girls` recent matches on the Sky i-Player at the moment, but they`re only available for a limited time. I don`t know if Sky TV is available in Canada, but it should be easy enough to find out.

  • Comment number 33.

    Anyone - please - why is it that I can't download Alison Mitchell's latest (post-Ashes) blog? I have tried upwards of ten times, but all that happens is that I get taken to a page marked "403 Access forbidden." - I would be grateful for help.

 

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