Charlotte Edwards - my part in her success
So the England women’s cricket team are the best in the world.
Well, actually it’s something we’ve known for quite some time to be honest. Let’s face it, if owning the Ashes, the 50-over version of the World Cup and now the Twenty20 version isn’t enough to make you the best, then I don’t know what is.
And do you know what? I’m going to take some credit for their success.
Now there are some people in Archant Towers who would unfairly suggest that I should not be allowed within 50 yards of a women’s cricket team.
But the reason I’m taking credit for their world domination dates back nearly 20 years.
It was the early summer of 1991 (it could have been 1990, but I’m getting on a bit now so the old memory is a bit hazy), and I was about to play my first ever game of proper cricket.
Out were the orange balls and blue stumps of Kwik cricket, and in were the pads and hard red ball and the smell of leather and willow.
It was in the People’s Republic of Fenland that I made my debut for March Town Under 11s against local rivals Ramsey.
Now like me, many of my team-mates, including my younger brother, were playing their first games, and unfortunately, we’d heard they were a bit handy.
Not only had they been playing for a while, they also had on their team, gulp, a girl.
That girl was none other than current England captain Charlotte Edwards - and boy was she good.
She tore us apart that evening.
I’m pretty certain (although the scorebook has apparently gone missing despite my best efforts to locate it), that she top scored for Ramsey and also took at least four wickets.
Of course, one of them was not mine.
Yes, I can remember one important part of the game, and that was that I top scored for March with 21 not out.
Indeed it was my highest score for years, but I was determined that no girl was going to get me out.
I think I got a couple of wickets too, but it was definitely the batting which made me most proud.
And now as I survey my less than completely successful cricket career, I cling, sadly, to the forlorn hope, that perhaps somehow, Charlotte Edwards learned something from me on her way to becoming the captain of the best team in the world.
Perhaps it was my intent to hit everything to the leg side. Perhaps it was my obvious desire to make sure the ball did not hit me at any cost.
Perhaps it was the tears welling up in my eyes as one of her deliveries hit my in the thigh as I hadn’t got round to getting a thigh pad and it hurt like hell.
Perhaps some of these things led her to become the star, and MBE, she is today.
I doubt it, but like most failed sportsmen, when you don’t quite have the ability, the memories get better and better as the years go by.
So maybe, just maybe, I’ve contributed to England becoming the best.
We could do with Charlotte Edwards in Norwich at the moment. To be precise, a certain member of the sports team could.
Although I missed the game, reports have come back to me that a certain Michael Bailey, aka Freddie from Big Brother (pictured right), cost the Newsmen team success in a recent midweek game.
Coming on to bowl with only the ’death’ overs remaining. Bailey apparently delivered an 11-ball over, with five wides to hand Coach and Horse the victory.
It appears his ’unique’ bowling action let him and the side down. It will be interesting to see if he is selected for the next match, but in the meantime, he could do worse than watching the tapes and trying to learn a thing or two from the England women.
posted on 26 June 2009 10:16 byJonathan Redhead