By Dave Clark
Head of England Women’s Performance Paul Shaw believes the anticipation is quickly building for the Women’s Ashes series in Australia next month.
Shaw’s side will play a Test at the WACA, three one-day internationals and three Twenty20 internationals in January as they look to retain the trophy which they won 12 points to four on home soil earlier this year.
Shaw announced his squads for the Ashes tour last Wednesday, and believes the excitement is spreading beyond Charlotte Edwards’ team and into the public.
He told ecb.co.uk: “I feel the anticipation building through the ECB, through the players, through the staff and through the general public - there is a lot more interest beginning to build now.
“We’re looking forward to it and it’s going to be one heck of a challenge; the Aussies will want to bounce back strongly so we will have to be prepared to fight and show some character and determination.”
Shaw was delighted with the way his side regained the Ashes at home this year, fighting back from a tough start to draw the only Test, at Wormsley, then responding to defeat in the first ODI with victory in the next five matches.
But the 41-year-old has warned the team not to become complacent, with a more difficult examination set to follow Down Under.
“It was such a fantastic experience to see so many smiles on so many faces - not just in the playing camp but with the staff and the public,” Shaw added. “It was fantastic.
“Australia are a very good side and a tough unit. It was much closer than the score suggested and we’re expecting a real battle going across to Australia in January.
“They are an Australia team that are looking to bounce back, so it’s going to be tougher than it was here but we’ll be ready for that fight and we’ll do all we can to retain the Ashes.”