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England women set sail

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Members of the England women’s team today launched their busiest summer ever with a unique cricket match on the top deck of a return SeaFrance ferry from Dover to Calais.

The team is set to play two one-day internationals against West Indies on July 11 and 12 at Loughborough University, closely followed by two NatWest Women’s Series against South Africa and India as well as four NatWest Women’s International Twenty20s against the same opponents.

The series against South Africa kicks off on August 6 at Kent CCC and includes a game at Lord’s on August 8.

Shenley will host two one-dayers on August 11 and 14 before the tour heads north to Chesterfield for the final ODI and first Twenty20 on August 18 and 20 respectively.

Northamptonshire CCC will be the venue for the final two Twenty20 games on August 22 and 23.

England women

The England women's team launch the international summer in unique style on the way to Calais

India arrive later that month ready to start on August 30 at Bath CC before heading to the home of women’s cricket in Taunton for an ODI on September 1 and the two televised matches on September 4 and 5. The third NatWest ODI will be on September 4 with the Twenty20 played on September 5.

The penultimate game will be played at Arundel Castle Cricket Club on September 7 and the summer concludes with a floodlit game at Hove on September 9.

The summer series kickstarts a hectic thirteen-month schedule for the women which includes the ICC Women’s World Cup in Australia in February and March 2009 and the inaugural ICC Women’s World Twenty20 in England next June.

That is closely followed by another Ashes series, which England will be hoping to retain after their fantastic victory in Australia earlier this year.

Charlotte Edwards, England captain, commented: “We’ve had a great day today. It’s always good to launch the series to drum up a bit more interest and to do it in this way is a lot of fun.

“This summer is going to be tough for the players with 16 internationals to play in just under two months, but we’re all really excited and can’t wait for it to get started, particularly as it signals the start of a massive year for us all with two global tournaments and then another Ashes series.

“It will be fantastic to get some decent match preparation under our belts ahead of these tournaments and we can’t wait for them all to get under way.”