Edwards gears up for World Cup

Charlotte Edwards

Charlotte Edwards is relishing the chance to lead England out at Canterbury

England women’s captain Charlotte Edwards is treating the NatWest Series against South Africa as the first step on the road to World Cup and World Twenty20 glory next year.

The Proteas provide the opposition in the first of five one-day internationals starting next week, before India arrive later next month for the second leg of England’s limited-overs summer.

It represents not only a step up in quality for England, who made short work of West Indies in a one-sided clash in June, but also in intensity, with 14 games scheduled for little more than a month.

“We’re so excited about this summer,” said Edwards. “Playing South Africa and India is going to present a huge challenge as it’s lots of games in quick succession for us.

“But it will be fantastic preparation for next year which sees us compete in the ICC Women’s World Cup and the ICC Women’s World Twenty20.”

Edwards is relishing the opportunity to lead England out on her home ground in the first ODI against South Africa at Canterbury next Wednesday.

Lord’s is the venue for the second match of the series, while Northampton, Taunton and Hove will also host international women’s cricket this summer.

“I am so excited about playing at Canterbury, my home county ground,” added Edwards. “It’s a great honour to lead the England team out anywhere but it’ll be special to lead the girls out in Kent where I play regularly.

“We’re travelling to some amazing grounds this summer, which makes us feel really privileged.

“It’s great that we can take women’s cricket right across the country and helps us generate more interest and raise the profile of the sport.”

The women’s World Cup will be held in Australia next March and the inaugural women’s World Twenty20 takes place alongside the men’s event in England in June.