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In focus: Charlotte Edwards

England captain Charlotte Edwards
England captain Charlotte Edwards

Ahead of MCC Women v Rest of the World Women on Monday 19 May at Lord's, Raf Nicholson looks at England's rock, Charlotte Edwards.

Charlotte Edwards (England & MCC)

Charlotte Edwards first played for England in 1996, at a time when she had to pay for her own blazer in order to do so.

Edwards has led England to four Ashes victories

She first hit the headlines at the 1997 World Cup when, the day before her 18th birthday, she scored 173* against Ireland, which was (for a few hours) the highest individual score in women’s ODIs.

She has gone on to make more international appearances than any other female cricketer in the history of the game, and is England‘s all-time leading run-scorer.

Appointed England captain in 2006, Edwards has led her side to four Ashes victories (two on Australian soil), and two World Cup wins.

An attacking top-order batsman, she is equally comfortable in all three formats of the game and her incredible talent shows no signs of fading: she recently hit 92* off 59 balls, the highest total in T20Is by an Englishwoman, to secure the 2014 Women‘s Ashes.

At the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 she became the first cricketer, male or female, to score 2,000 runs in T20Is. A handy leg-spinner, she also has 75 international wickets.

A Chance to Shine ambassador, Edwards is passionate about the next generation of female cricketers and works tirelessly off the pitch to promote women‘s cricket.

In 2012, she became the first woman to join the MCC World Cricket committee, and in 2014 was honoured by Wisden as one of its Five Cricketers of the Year – just the second woman to be named as such.

Edwards previews MCC v RoW clash

Other players: MCC v Rest of the World

Arran Brindle (England & MCC)

Arran Brindle announced her retirement from international cricket in February this year, having amassed 2,852 runs in 134 international matches and with 57 wickets to her name, in a career that spanned almost fifteen years.

She debuted in 1999 and, having shared a record first-wicket stand of 200 in Tests with Caroline Atkins in India in 2002, she played a key role in England’s 2005 victory against the Australians.

Her debut Test hundred ensured a draw in the first Test and, fittingly, she was at the crease to hit the winning runs in the second, as England won the Ashes for the first time in 42 years.

Brindle took a career break between 2005 and 2011 in order to become a mother, during which time she became the first woman to score a century in men’s Premier League cricket.

After her return to the England side during the 2011 Quadrangular Series, she became the resident mother figure in the team, with son Harry adopted as a team mascot.

Her reliable medium-pacers came good when, at the 2013 World Cup, she achieved the remarkable figures of 3-0 in two overs against the eventual finalists, West Indies.

She also re-established herself as the backbone of England’s middle order, topping the batting averages in the 2014 Ashes series.

Shashikala Siriwardene (Sri Lanka & Rest of the World)

All-rounder Shashikala Siriwardene, who recently stepped down from the Sri Lankan captaincy having done the job almost continuously since 2005, tops just about any list of achievements by a Sri Lankan female cricketer you could name, including most ODI and T20I runs and wickets.

She began her international career in 2003 and for several years juggled cricket with a career as a human resources assistant, before Sri Lanka Cricket introduced part-time contracts for its female players in 2011.

In 2013 she was one of five Sri Lankan women to be awarded a top-level international contract.

Siriwardene has recently been instrumental in leading her team to its maiden series victory in T20 cricket, against India in January 2014, as well as a fifth place finish at the 2013 World Cup, during which the Sri Lankans, who had never previously beaten any of the top four ranked teams on the international stage, shocked the world by defeating defending champions England, as well as hosts India.

In the match against India, Siriwardene made 59 and took 2/20, taking Sri Lanka into the Super Six stage and leading the usually calm captain to declare: “I am seriously super happy”.

Tickets for the MCC v Rest of the World's women's are still available, click here.

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