Kent coast to title
Charlotte Edwards knew Kent women were on course to win this year’s County Championship after the first match of the season.
Kent, this year’s winners, kicked off their campaign with a convincing nine-wicket victory over arch rivals and 2010 champions Sussex at Brighton College.
And as the two sides – who have dominated the championship in recent years – prepare to face each other in the last match of the season at Sandwich on Sunday, Edwards has paid tribute to the all-round efforts of her team following that perfect start.
“Kent v Sussex is a fierce rivalry but it’s always a good one,” Edwards told ecb.co.uk. “It was a great psychological start for us. Once we got that big win under our belts we took a lot of confidence into the rest of the season.
“Starting so well gave us such a huge boost, and I guess Sussex were always playing catch up. We’ve kept playing good cricket all year.”
Kent have won all their completed games this season, with two matches abandoned when they were in commanding positions, and Edwards is hopeful of maintaining the unbeaten record with a victory on Sunday.
“We’ve shown a lot of strength in depth in our squad this year," she added. "A lot of our key players have stood up, and a lot of our younger girls have really performed.
“It’s been an excellent year for the team and all the girls are really proud of what we’ve done.”
England spinner Laura Marsh will be playing against her former county and Edwards is in no doubt about the impact Marsh has made in her first season since joining Kent.
“To get someone like Laura was great for us. Probably one area we really needed to strengthen was our bowling and she’s definitely done that. She is a world-class bowler and a really valuable batter as well. She’s bowled some crucial spells which have really turned games.”
Edwards’ own form has been dominant this season and her move to the top of the order from number three has enabled her and Tammy Beaumont to forge a partnership that has been the basis of Kent’s success.
Beaumont, who has been included in the England squad to tour South Africa next month, has scored 369 runs in nine innings while Edwards herself has hit 505 at an average of more than 168.
“It’s always vital that England players perform at county level and I’ve had a very, very good year at county level this year," she said.
"I’ve formed a really good partnership with Tammy, which has really helped. She has played brilliantly for us this and has really deserved her call-up to the England team.”
With Sussex and Kent largely sharing the spoils in the women’s game in recent years, this will be the fourth year out of the last six that Edwards’ side have won the county championship, since their first title in 2006.
“It’s been a really good few years for Kent,” she said. “The most pleasing thing for me is we’ve been really consistent and we’ve blooded some really good youngsters. I think we’ve got a lot to be proud of.”