Charlotte Edwards says the England Women’s set up is the envy of world cricket and has challenged her side to stay on top of the world in all forms of the game.
Edwards, who captained England to both ICC World Cup and World Twenty20 glory in 2009, also praised the quality of young players coming through the system at all levels.
The 31-year-old has been coaching young cricketers at girls only MCC Spirit of Cricket summer camps all around the country as part of her role as a Chance to Shine (opens in a new window) coaching ambassador.
Speaking exclusively to Lords.org Edwards enthusiastically described the future of English women’s cricket as “bright.”
“The England Women’s side is currently ranked as the best ODI team in the world, and more women and girls are playing cricket across the country than ever before,” said Edwards.
“The challenge for us now is to stay on top.
“The structure of women’s cricket in England is the envy of all our rivals, and with the progression that has been seen over the past few years, I am sure that the game will continue to go from strength to strength.
“The two big global events (the ICC Twenty20 and fifty over World Cups) are coming up in 2012 and 2013, and being a part of the MCC Spirit of Cricket camps this summer has served as a timely reminder that there is a lot of talent out there – all eager to be part of the next generation of World Cup winners.”
‘Play Hard, Play Fair’
MCC, through their ongoing partnership with charity Chance to Shine, has been able to call on the services of Edwards and some of her England teammates, including Danni Wyatt and Lydia Greenway to coach at the camps.
Nearly 400 girls, from beginners to more experienced players, have attended the eight camps, which took place in locations throughout England and Wales.
The scheme is in its third year and Edwards continues to enjoy her chance to promote the Spirit of Cricket’s ‘Play Hard, Pay Fair,’ message.
“We have been received brilliantly at all of the camps, and it’s a fantastic opportunity for us to promote the game in areas of the country where women’s cricket might not have had a great deal of exposure in the past,” added Edwards who has played more than 200 internationals for England.
“MCC’s ‘play hard, play fair’ message is applicable to cricketers of all ages, but it is excellent that young players are getting the opportunity to learn about this from the outset.”
MCC continues to provide invaluable support for the women’s game.
In addition to the girls only camps, there are currently seven full time female MCC Young Cricketers who are based at Lord’s on a full time paid basis.
The 2011 squad – the largest in MCC’s history – features six England internationals, including Wyatt and double world champion Sarah Taylor.