Jenny Gunn, who exclusively blogs for ecb.co.uk, reveals a class divide in the England Women’s squad and reflects on the second and third one-day internationals with Australia.
At the start of this Ashes tour one of our coaches, Carl Crowe, split the squad into two teams – the ‘Poshies’ and the ‘Commoners’ (based largely on whether you went to state or public school!). We compete in a series of challenges/games at the beginning of every training session, with Crowey keeping a continuous points tally for the ‘series’. For info, I’m a ‘Commoner’!
Four weeks into the tour and the ‘Commoners’ are well in the lead overall. The latest clash saw us take each other on at a game of rounders (played with a stump, four cones and a tennis ball). All was going well until the stump flew out of Lyds’ (Lydia Greenway) hands and headed straight for Georgia (Elwiss), who was standing at first base. She duly decided to roll around on the floor like she was a footballer! The words ‘health’ and ‘safety’ sprung to mind, but we carried on playing anyway. Beth Wild – our new media manager – is actually an internationally-qualified rounders umpire(!), and it wasn't long before she stomped out and in her posh accent explained that there were many rule violations happening! We smashed the ‘Poshies’ to extend our lead in the series, but with a quiz coming up they might finally get some points on the board.
In our second ODI at the MCG Lottie (Charlotte Edwards) lost the toss, and we were in the field first. It's safe to say we weren't at our best and missed a few opportunities to take wickets. Nicole Bolton, on debut for Australia, batted well to bring up a century, which helped Australia get up to 266.
Our reply got off to the worst possible start, losing Lottie first ball. Trev (Heather Knight) and Sarah (Taylor) had a good partnership but we lost wickets at key times, which halted our chase. Nat (Natalie Sciver) showed some fight at the end and when she was joined by (Danni) Hazell we were going strong. Because it was a day/night match, when the lights came on birds flew in from all angles and one decided to poo on Hazell! This is normally good luck… she was bowled next ball and we ended up losing by 26 runs.
From Melbourne we have flown to Tasmania, which reminds me more of New Zealand than Australia, as it has lots of mountains and is a bit cooler – it's a lovely place to come too.
In the third ODI at the Bellerive Oval we batted first and got off to a great start. The runs were shared around our top six with Trev and Sarah both getting fifties to help us up to 268.
Australia came hard at us, and got off to a flyer. It took a bit of magic from Sarah to get rid of Meg Lanning with a leg-side stumping to help us back on track. Hazell controlled the middle overs with her spin. Our biggest problem, however, was getting the dangerous Ellyse Perry out – and a few run-out chances didn't go our way – but she hit an amazing 90 not out to help win the game for Australia with three balls left.
We are now into the Twenty20 international part of this series, with all three matches being played as double-headers with the men, and they will all be televised on Sky Sports!