Edwards relishing New Zealand trip

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Charlotte Edwards sees England women’s tour of New Zealand as the perfect assignment as they continue to step up their preparations for the World Twenty20 and next year’s Women’s World Cup.

Edwards’ team will take on the White Ferns in five T20 internationals next month, with three one-day internationals to follow in early March.

The skipper is confident her side can perform strongly in the Antipodes, and admits she already has one eye on September’s global T20 event in Sri Lanka, and the 50-over showpiece that follows in India.

Speaking exclusively to ecb.co.uk, Edwards said: “We are really excited. We played so well out in South Africa, with a relatively young team, and we were really pleased with how we played our cricket out there.

“We were mindful of what we needed to improve on, especially with the World Cups coming up. We are very excited about the New Zealand tour and putting our plans into action.

Charlotte Edwards

Charlotte Edwards has described England women's tour of New Zealand as "a great preparation" as they plan for the World Twenty20 and Women's World Cup

“I think they (New Zealand) are in a bit of a rebuilding phase at the moment. They have new players in their team, a little bit unknown, but it’s a good chance for us to get out there and get to know some of their new players. It’s another opportunity for us to play international cricket and with two World Cups looming, every opportunity is brilliant.”

After winning the inaugural Women’s World Twenty20 on home soil in 2009, England suffered a surprising early exit when the tournament was last held in 2010, something Edwards is determined to avenge when the team travels to Sri Lanka in September.

“It’s one of the real low points of my career really,” she admitted. “It eats away at me so I’m even more determined to go out there and win back a Twenty20 trophy and I know the team are really determined as well so that’s even better.

“Our T20 form of late has been brilliant and we will be looking to continue that in 2012.”

Referring to the team’s schedule in New Zealand, she added: “It’s a great preparation for us and more importantly we need to keep the team together. We know from our success in 2009, consistency in selection and people knowing their roles is really important in any form of the game. It’s something we will be looking to continue.”

Success in the 50-over game, in which England are defending world champions, is also high on Edwards’ list of priorities, with the 2013 World Cup fast approaching.

“Every game a year out from a World Cup is vitally important,” said the most capped female cricketer in the world.

“We have three (ODIs) against New Zealand and five in the summer against India so the preparation for those tournaments is huge.

“The team are training hard, we know what’s ahead of us, we have got a massive 14/15 months ahead of the team and we know we are going to have to throw everything into the next year to 18 months to have another successful time.”