England Women captain Charlotte Edwards can hardly wait to begin what she feels will be one of the most exciting summers of her long and decorated career.
The 34-year-old will lead England into a professional era after the announcement yesterday that 18 players had been handed new contracts.
After completing back-to-back Ashes successes in the winter, and reaching the World Twenty20 final, Edwards believes women’s cricket in England and Wales is going from strength to strength.
“I have to pinch myself really; it has been an unbelievable 12 months to see where the game has come just in that time,” she told ecb.co.uk.
“I can honestly say I never thought I’d see myself as a professional cricketer. It really excites me.
— England Cricket (@ECB_cricket) May 6, 2014
“Potentially in the next three or four years being in that position is something that not only excites me but for attracting young girls to the sport is going to be crucial.
“It’s a great time to be a female cricketer and I know all the team are looking forward to it too.
“The English summer is always an exciting time and in our new professional era there is an added excitement.”
England Women will welcome South Africa and India this summer and Edwards believes the new contract system will allow them to be better prepared.
“I think that time to concentrate on your cricket (will be important) but equally to have that time out of the game as well,” she said.
“I probably won’t realise until we start how much time you did put into your cricket and then work. Hopefully we’ll have a better balanced life.”