Edwards rues England failings
Skipper Charlotte Edwards felt England paid the price for being inconsistent during their disappointing Women’s World Cup defence.
Edwards' side headed into the competition as heavy favourites to retain their crown but eventually had to settle for a third-placed finish.
That effort represented a second disappointment in four months, following their defeat at the hands of Australia in the World Twenty20 final.
Speaking exclusively to ecb.co.uk, Edwards admitted: “We were caught a bit short at times; looking back now, a couple of catches cost us and we obviously didn't get enough runs.
“A lot of credit has to go to a lot of these teams. We've paid the price for being a little bit inconsistent in the tournament.”
That their two defeats came by one wicket, versus Sri Lanka in a last-ball thriller, and two runs, against Australia, illustrated the fine margins between success and victory.
Edwards said: “Ultimately what's cost us is a last-ball (defeat) and we've lost by two runs so we cannot be too hard on ourselves. It's been very small margins which is sometimes harder to take especially when we were playing our best cricket at the end.
“As a team we've thoroughly enjoyed the two and a half weeks and the competition. It's certainly been testing at times; there has been a few highs and lows.
“There is a huge amount we've learned. People have stood up when we've needed them to under real pressure at times, which I think will only help us in the long run.
“What we cannot forget is that we've got a very good squad here. Like I said, we've lost by very small margins and we cannot go away and think we're suddenly a bad team overnight.
“We've got a very exciting summer ahead of us against Australia, which I know the girls are really looking forward to, but the most important thing now is that these girls need a break.
“We've lived and breathed cricket for the last six months. I'm certainly ready for a (six-week) break and to re-energise myself and I'm really looking forward to the challenges that present themselves in the summer.”
While unwilling to make excuses, Edwards conceded England were not helped by their status as the world's best side.
She added: “Any team we play against I think they do raise their game. We were world champions coming into this tournament. Credit to Sri Lanka, they came out and had no fear and they deserved their win against us.”
The tournament came to a conclusion at the Brabourne Stadium yesterday, when Australia were crowned world champions following a comprehensive 114-run win over West Indies.
While her memories of the event may well be tinged with disappointment, Edwards could acknowledge what a fine advert it was for the women’s game.
She enthused: “For me, for women's cricket, this tournament has been a fantastic advert and hopefully we've inspired many girls to want to play cricket now.
“I've certainly enjoyed watching some of the games back in my hotel room and I'm very proud of where the women's game is at at the moment.”