It's Time For England's Women Cricketers to Enjoy the Limelight

Marianne BevisSenior Writer IFebruary 22, 2009

So England cricket meanders from one mini crisis to another.

Following a disastrous first test against the West Indies, the second had to be hastily rescheduled from a sand pit to a playable surface at the old Recreation Ground.

The England side managed to snatch a draw from the jaws of success in their third test from what seemed an unassailable lead. And to rub salt into the wound, Flintoff managed to get injured again.

There’s been infighting over the captaincy, and media hoo-ha over the winner-takes-all Indian show-downs.

Then the test series—and the ECB—is hit by the scandal that is Sir Allen Stanford. Who would have thought that this most traditional of sports would fall foul of its own mantra: it’s just not cricket!

Meanwhile, in the quiet, seemly and characteristically low-key style that one normally expects from this sport, England’s women have managed to retain the women's Ashes in Australia, won a one-day series in New Zealand and have proved too strong for both West Indies and South Africa on home soil.

This winning cricket team is now preparing to return to Australia to try and win the Women's World Cup and then aims to win yet another prize in the Twenty20.

Their success is saluted, in classic English style, by a five-minute segment on the BBC radio breakfast news—not even managing to make the sports news headlines. Meanwhile, the forlorn series of disasters that has beset the men’s game fill page after page of the UK broadsheets, and are covered daily in the broadcast media.

The women’s team also happens to be captained by one of the best players in the world at the moment, Charlotte Edwards.

On top of the team successes in 2008, she  was awarded the Women's Cricketer of the Year Award by the ICC and is the leading scorer in women's Twenty20 internationals.

Just 29, she nevertheless runs a tight ship where her team is concerned, leading by example and encouraging an enviable work ethic in the whole young squad.

It would be nice to think that, when the women take part in their Twenty20 competition alongside the men’s event this year, they will get the encouragement and support they deserve.

They may not hit as many boundaries as the men, but there are a few thing they could teach them about winning.