Meet England's World Cup stars
The Women's World Cup final is just around the corner and the England players are all very excited about Sunday. I won't tell you what Surrey all-rounder Ebony Rainford-Brent said she'd do if England won, suffice to say press officer Imogen Gaunt looked horrified.
The squad is a young one, with only five players over 25, but a core of eight all played in the World Cup four years ago.
I thought I'd draft a few notes to help people back at home, who don't normally follow women's cricket, get to know some of the England's key players - so here goes.....
Charlotte Edwards, captain (Kent) Age: 29
Bats at number four and usually brings herself on to bowl leg-breaks towards the end of an innings, taking 4-37 against New Zealand in the Super Sixes.
She was named ICC World Women's Cricketer of the Year last September and having worked for Hunts County Bats for many years, is now one of six players in this squad who have Chance to Shine coaching contracts, funded by the Cricket Foundation.
Edwards's contract is full-time, meaning she is paid a salary for 25 hours work a week over eight months, allowing her time for training and touring, together with a reliable income. This is her fourth World Cup, but the first time she has reached the final. Her mum is over here, staying in an apartment in North Sydney, which enabled Lottie to pop over for a 'home' cooked meal the other night.
Claire Taylor (Berkshire) Age: 33
Bats at three, is the most experienced member of the squad, and has been a consistent scorer for England for a number of years. Her undisputed talent is reflected in the ICC rankings, in which she is number one batter in the World. She's the leading run scorer at the World Cup so far, the only player to hit a century, and her strike rate - a healthy 100.39 - means she's capable of turning a game on its head.
At the last World Cup she took a sabbatical from her job in order to train and prepare properly. Now she works as a management consultant at Reading University, and in a recent blog, admitted to not getting enough money from cricket to cover the time off work she needs. This is a serious issue for women cricketers.
Her talents also extend to music, playing the violin in Aldworth Philharmonic Orchestra. One of the sacrifices she makes for cricket is that she often has to miss big concerts due to playing commitments.
Sarah Taylor (Sussex) Age: 19
Opening bat/ wicketkeeper. The dark-haired teenager, who has a cheeky personality, already has a hundred at Lord's under her belt and was the youngest ever player to score 1,000 one-day runs. Winning the World Cup though, is her ultimate goal and shee hit her straps in the Super Sixes game against the West Indies with a sparkling 78.
Sarah's schooldays saw her play 1st XI boys cricket at Brighton College and she believes it's easier to keep wicket in the men's game, because the ball doesn't tend to come on as much in the women's.
Katherine Brunt (Yorkshire) Age: 23
Opening bowler. When you hear the blonde-haired Barnsley girl in an interview, she is sweetly spoken and sounds as if she wouldn't hurt a fly. When she gets the ball in her hand and marks out her run, however, you can't help but liken her attitude to that other fast bowler from Barnsley, Darren Gough. She holds her shoulders back, struts and glares, and is always entertaining to watch.
She's a very good bowler too, one of the quickest in the women's game. She's not tall, but she has a mean bouncer up her sleeve, and admits that channelling her aggression is something she's been working very hard on. Brunt, like Edwards, is on a full-time Chance to Shine contract.
Laura Marsh (Sussex) Age: 22
Off-spinner. Marsh is the leading wicket taker in the tournament so far, with 13 wickets going into Thursday's game against Australia. She was a seamer until about a year ago when she switched to spin and has been working closely with assistant coach and former Test off-spinner Jack Birkenshaw.
She's a student at Loughbrough University studying Sport Science, but it's proving a big challenge to juggle academic work with international cricket. She missed exams last February to compete in the Ashes in Australia, so she sat them before flying to the World Cup (a year late) and passed, despite the course changing some of the content without her knowing! She'll resume uni in January 2010, but by then all the friends she started with will have graduated.
Holly Colvin (Sussex) Age: 19
Left-arm spinner. The small, pony-tailed figure of Colvin first appeared in Test cricket at the age of 15 - the youngest player ever to do so - and she helped England win the Ashes in 05 and then retain them down under in 08. She flights the ball beautifully and tends to return miserly economy rates together with wickets.
She's one of these incredibly gifted but hard-working people - she got straight As in maths, biology, chemistry and Latin from Brighton College, despite all the time she puts into cricket. Her gap year has coincided perfectly with the World Cup, enabling her to go out to Australia early to join state side New South Wales Breakers.
Isa Guha (Berkshire) Age: 23yrs
Seam bowler and number one in the ICC world rankings. A skiddy bowler with less pace than Brunt, Guha relies on swing and took nine wickets in the Ashes Test against Australia a year ago. She's a biochemistry graduate from the University of London, but has been spending this winter playing Premier League cricket at Bankstown in Sydney.
She did, however choose to spend three days a week at a research lab at the University of Sydney to keep in touch with a future career. Guha is the first Asian woman to play cricket for England, and got interested in the game through playing back yard cricket with her older brother as she was growing up in High Wycombe.