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England confirm their champion status

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Alison Mitchell Alison Mitchell | 19:04 UK time, Sunday, 21 June 2009

England's women are double world champions following a six-wicket win over New Zealand at Lord's, adding the World Twenty20 title to the 50-over crown they won in March .

As captain Charlotte Edwards said to me at the end of the game, they've proved that their World Cup victory in Sydney was no fluke, and they've confirmed to the world that they are indeed the number one team in the women's game.

Add to that the fact that they hold the Ashes (to be contested again later this summer) and this England side is the most dominant ever.

engteam595.jpgThey've done it through a culture of excellence, bred out of Charlotte Edwards's determined leadership, nurtured by coach Mark Lane and assistant Jack Birkenshaw, and fulfilled by the dedication of a squad of players who have the advantage of feeding off one of the best players the game has seen: Claire Taylor.

Taylor's unbeaten 76 off 53 balls will go down as the innings of the tournament in the match of the tournament, as England overhauled Australia's 163-5.

Having made an unbeaten 39 off 32 balls to steer England to victory in Sunday's final, she was deservedly named player of the tournament for accummulating 199 runs in five matches.

New Zealand captain Aimee Watkins was the leading scorer with one run more, but it is the manner in which Taylor constructs her innings which is so impressive, displaying a calculated coolness befitting of someone who has a maths degree from Oxford.

Katherine Brunt's spell of 4-2-6-3 was magnificent in the final at Lord's. It was set up by Laura Marsh's opening over in which she combined with Sarah Taylor to have Suzie Bates stumped.

Marsh then kept up the pressure at one end, while Brunt capitalised at the other to return career-best figures, all with a bruising black eye from an accident during fielding practice that only added to her menace.

There must have been around 10,000 people at Lord's to see the ticker tape rain down on Charlotte Edwards and her team when they lifted the trophy.

That's by far the largest crowd ever to watch a women's game in the UK, and whilst the media coverage of the women's tournament can hardly be described as 'extensive', the ICC must be applauded for having the vision to stage the tournament alongside the men's.

The good thing is the women have another chance to impress in April next year, when the format of the World Twenty20 2010 will be exactly the same in the West Indies.


  • Comment number 1.

    Well done the ladies. What a delight it was to see you playing so well (as usual). I have always thought that the women's game had a certain appeal ever since I first saw a team of ladies playing a match in London 20 or more years ago which was very exciting.
    Now I would like to see you get the same sort of coverage (as it were) as the ladies who play tennis.

  • Comment number 2.

    Three cheers for our cricketing champions.

    A lesson on how to achieve and achieve again.

    The men should bear this in mind even IF they beat the aussies, consistent achievement is what is required. That a trip to SA in the winter would test...

  • Comment number 3.

    What a truly great performance by England (women obviously) in this competition.

    I've been so fed up listening to radio and TV news this evening, with the team often only getting an incidental mention!! For goodness sake England have just won a World trophy on home soil, who gives a monkeys which gender they are, get up and support them BBC News, SKY News, 5-live (who gave very little time to the girls). Media coverage has always been the real problem for womens cricket, the apathy is appalling. The ECB and to some extent Sky have done a good job with raising the teams profile, but is so important to push hard now to get them right up there as a permanent slot on the TV/radio, not as an aside.

    Well done again girls, you are a credit to your sport and your county.


  • Comment number 4.

    I'm thrilled by our women's win, it was fantastic! I cried at the end.

    When can we expect the open top bus tour of London??

  • Comment number 5.

    Thought the women's team did us proud, especially the resillient victory over Australia (so sweet) and the general tearing apart of everyone else. Agreed that it was great to have the matches played alongside the men's tournament, and also Sky have done a good job (not brilliant but commendable) in covering the tournament.

    Can we organise an England men's XI vs women's XI after the Ashes? See Kevin Pietersen try and get Holly 'Yuvraj' Colvin away!

  • Comment number 6.

    At the outset of this tournament I posted my lack of enthusiasm for the T20 format. After two weeks, during which time I followed England women's fortunes in every match, I can't say I'm yet convinced; as J. Agnew has said in his most recent article, T20 is one dimensional and early wickets can kill off a game. However, the run-chase by SC Taylor & Morgan last Thursday was compelling cricket by any standards. Records of it should go into the archives in purple! By comparison, the result of Sunday's final was seldom in doubt, especially after Watkins followed Bates back into the pavilion in quick time. Sunday's victory was convincing; Thursday's was glorious.

    Whither now? I smiled when I read Taylor's post match remarks on 606: "couple of days off, then the Aussies again." That's what we call single-minded focus. Edwards is the same, an excellent batter, a very useful support bowler, an outstanding captain, both shrewd in judgement and committed to purpose: move over Rachel Heyhoe-Flint, Belinda Clark, Clare Connor & co in the book of legends, methinks.

    During the course of the tournament, as more and more people became aware of this team's success, I read many posts suggesting: "some of these women in our men's team," "England men v England women in a T20 game" - and so forth. Not for a while, I feel, unless in an end-of-September bunfight at (say) Scarborough. However, there is one break-through with more mileage in it, I think. (I posted the notion on 606 on Sunday.) It is that Holly Colvin could become the first woman to win a full Cambridge blue. How about it? Does Cambridge University have a better left-arm spinner?

    Many other posts I read noted that international Women's cricket is a two-tier affair, with England, NZ, Australia & India in the top rank - and then the rest. This is a fair point. I thought I detected a better showing by South Africa in this tournament than in the World Cup (50 overs)tournament in Sydney. Given the relative wealth of South Africa and its well known passion for sport, I can't see it being too long before South African women come knocking at the door (or maybe barnstorming through it)! That leaves the Windies, Pakistan & Sri Lanka languishing, probably unable to attract investment in the women's game. Of these, Windies probably have more reason for hope than the other two. Their women's team is workmanlike, capable of producing an upset - and in Dottin, they seem to have unearthed a real talent. Nevertheless, one very urgent task facing Clare Connor in her new ICC post, will be to fathom out some way of persuading commercial concerns in those countries to take up a more enlightened stance with regard to women's cricket.

    And lastly, although I have posted my congratulations to the entire England set-up, I post more here. You are, undoubtedly, world champions.

  • Comment number 7.

    Well done to England - double cricket world champions!

    Got to be the current favourites for the team of the year at Sports Personality?

    And well done to the BBC for the coverage. Alison you were excellent as ever and it was nice to see you on telly last Thursday as well!

  • Comment number 8.

    This is undoubtedly a team of huge talent with all the bases covered; batting, seam bowling, spin and keeping. The Taylor/Morgan run chase in the semi was, I think, not only thrilling to watch, but was also one of the most intelligent pieces of batting I have ever seen. Meanwhile, Katherine Brunt's spell in the final was an exemplary display of aggressive swing bowling.
    However, to me, the most telling aspect of the whole campaign was that this is not just a group of individual talents, they are a cohesive unit, brilliantly led by by an astute and inspiring captain. The team spirit seems to be outstanding, they clearly take pride in their own and each other's successes and there is always someone to stand up and make a contribution when it is most needed.
    Huge congratulation to you all ladies, it was stirring stuff!

  • Comment number 9.

    The Australians showed in the semi that any gap between them and England is pretty small. I would expect the one day series and Test to be very close.
    I think NZ were doing themselves down a bit in suggesting that it was amateurs against pros. NZ lost the toss and the ball was swinging around so any team would have found batting hard.
    I do, however, think there is a significant gap between these 3 teams and the rest. Granted India are better than the rest but they have slipped back some way over the last couple of years.
    It's going to benefit women's cricket not one jot if Eng/Aus/NZ power away from the rest because world cups will simply boil down to serile competitions. Its vital that Sri Lanka, South Africa, Pakistan and the West Indies find a way to fund their women's cricket and develop. Based on the Twenty20 I'd say West Indies have massive potential, particular in Twenty20. With very little support (eg infrastructure, funding), they are light years better than a year ago.
    Twenty20 has arrived at just the right time for women's cricket. Only Eng/Aus play Tests now so Twenty20 means there are still 2 fomats of cricket to play. It also offers the back-to-back opportunities with men's Twenty20.
    Having won 2 world cups there will be pressure on England to stay at the top. To do that we'll need a constant flow of young (or perhaps that should be younger) talent pushing the incumbents and it will be very interesting to see over the next couple of years whether this happens.
    Well done to the squad and coaches and all involved on a magnificent achievement.

  • Comment number 10.

    Point about India taken, LB, but I wonder if their disappointing performance in this tournament didn't have something to do with the format itself. For example, I don't think Mithali Raj was comfortable with it. T20 would seem to give little opportunity to compile an innings; you have to get on with it - and Raj seemed to me to get out more than once from the need to hit out, against her natural way. Sharma certainly knows how to get on with it, as she showed in Sydney. It crossed my mind a couple of times that Goswami missed a trick by not putting her higher up the order. Imagining like mad, I can envisage a scenario in which Sharma at one end scatters the spectators, while Raj at the other, relieved of the need to hurry, strokes the ball to all quarters. - Anyway, my substantive point is that India have not yet worked out this format - certainly not like Lane & Edwards have done.

    And yes, yes, yes a million times. Youth coming through is where the backroom women should be searching. I read recently that Nicky Shaw has earmarked a couple.

  • Comment number 11.

    Well done ladies. Fantastic. Such a great shame that the majority of the BRITISH VIEWING PUBLIC WERE UNABLE TO SEE IT LIVE ON TV as it was pay for view. This final should have been seen by the masses in our own country instead of some feeble tucked away highlights near midnight, which the majority of children were unable to see. I have to say first class coverage on radio bbc but a real third rate performance on tv for the ridiculous time you put them on at 11.30 pm. why we couldn't see the highlights earlier on the red button I do not know. The only way to truly raise the ladies profile higher is actually having you on free to air live tv coverage as was the Olmpics, The Ashes 2005 and the RUGY Union World Cup 2003 and 2007, all of which were free to air live tv which is where you belong to be seen. Team of the year for me what ever happens now in 2009.


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