KEEPING LORD'S WORLD CLASS
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In her latest Lords.org blog, England Women captain Charlotte Edwards looks forward to 2013's two big events - the ICC World Cup and the Ashes.
I can’t wait for 2013 to get going
"Now we have picked our squad and know the itinerary for the ICC World Cup, which starts in India in January, the tournament is starting to feel real.
"We’re in the middle of a 10-week training regime before we fly out to the sub-continent and the spirit in the camp is excellent. We have a new fitness coach in Ian Durant working alongside Head Coach Mark Lane, and it’s nice to take a fresh look at that side of things because we know conditions can be hostile and being one of the fittest teams is important over a long tournament.
"I’m pleased with the squad we’ve picked, which shows just one new face from the ICC World T20 squad. Georgia Elwiss comes in after proving herself as ODI bowler with a superb debut summer last year. Mercifully (and touch wood) we don’t have any injury worries at the moment either.
"In short, we know we have the kind of squad, with destructive batters such as Sarah Taylor and Lydia Greenway and spinners as good as Holly Colvin and Danni Wyatt, to give ourselves a chance of defending the title.
"India has been a tricky destination for us in recent years, and we haven’t won an ODI series out there recently - but on the plus side most of our players, even the less experienced ones, have played cricket on the sub-continent.
"We’re under no illusions though; 2012 has shown us that, however consistent we’ve been over the last few years, you still have to perform when it really matters to win a tournament like this. Anyone can beat anyone - but disappointment from Sri Lanka is spurring us on."
"Looking a bit further ahead, I’m delighted that we’ll be playing a Test match against Australia next summer. I’ve said before that I’d love the chance to play a bit more Test cricket and it’s a fantastic opportunity for us at Wormsley - which is one of the most beautiful grounds in the country. I’ve been lucky to play quite a few Tests in my career, but it’s nice to see the younger players who’ve grown up in the T20 era getting excited about it as well. There was a real buzz when the match was announced.
"We’re going to play some three-day matches next summer to get them used to it and we’re going to make sure we’re as ready as possible to try and win back the Ashes after losing them Down Under a couple of years ago. I can’t wait for 2013 to get going!"