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Edwards hails England preparation

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Charlotte Edwards thinks retaining the World Cup in India would be the ultimate achievement

England women could not be better prepared for their World Cup defence, according to skipper Charlotte Edwards.

England kick off their campaign tomorrow morning when they take on Sri Lanka at Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium.

A veteran of four previous World Cups, Edwards boasts vast experience and believes her team, beaten finalists in last year’s World Twenty20, could not have done more in the lead-up to this competition.

“We’re as fit as we’ve ever been,” she told ecb.co.uk. “We came back from (the World T20 in) Sri Lanka and asked more of the team ... and they’ve done everything we’ve asked of them so far. Hopefully that will translate into our performances.

Charlotte Edwards

Charlotte Edwards was warmly greeted upon England's arrival in Mumbai. "There’s no better place to win than in India," she said.

“There’s been a real focus on our fitness. We know in a 50-over World Cup, with the schedule as it is as well, that it’s going to be tough.”

Edwards rejects the notion that England will be burdened by the pressure that comes with being favourites.

“We don’t see it as pressure. There’s just a real determination around the group,” she explained.

“Having the upset in Sri Lanka and not winning there - I think that’s given the team a bit of an extra edge.

“Ultimately we’ve got to perform. We’ve got to score runs and we’ve got to take wickets.

“There’s no better place to win than in India. We haven’t been successful there in the past, so that’s something we want to put right.

“That’s a real challenge for us and the team like a challenge. I don’t think there’s any bigger one than this.”

Reflecting on her own World Cup career, the captain added: “They get (more) special as I get older. I’m as hungry for this one as I was the first, probably more so being current champions.

“I’m not going to put too much pressure on myself, or talk too much about how experienced I am. It’s about the team and it’s about how we perform.

“We’re really excited. With any World Cup there should be an air of excitement around and there certainly is at the moment.”