Guha targets World Cup glory

Isa Guha

Isa Guha is cheered by England's improvement in recent times © Getty Images

Isa Guha claims England women are on an upward curve and insists they are capable of lifting the World Cup next year.

Details for the tournament in Australia were confirmed today, with 25 games to be played across six venues in New South Wales from March 7-22 2009.

And seamer Guha, who has emerged as one of the key figures in an improving England side, is confident they will peak in time for the showpiece event.

England won the Ashes in Australia earlier this year and drew the one-day series 2-2 before beating New Zealand on their own turf and making short work of West Indies in an ODI last week.

Guha, who took five wickets in the victory over West Indies at Loughborough, said: “We have a lot of cricket coming up in the next six months including the World Cup in Australia, which is something we have been working towards for the last four years.

“It is the ultimate tournament in women's cricket and one that we believe we can win.

“As a team we have progressed in all facets of the game and have gained valuable experience since the last World Cup.

“We are currently working well as a unit and with competition for places we are being challenged all the time.

“As individuals, we continually strive to put in match-winning performances and as a team we are in the best position leading up to this exciting global competition.”

England captain Charlotte Edwards’ enthusiasm for the tournament remains as strong as ever despite the fact that next year’s World Cup will be her fourth.

Charlotte Edwards

Charlotte Edwards is relishing returning to Sydney for her fourth World Cup next year

“Being captain is going to make it even more special,” she said. “It’s any captain’s dream to win a World Cup.

“Playing the tournament in Australia makes it even more special, particularly the fact that it’s in Sydney, a city we all love. We honestly can’t wait to get out there and test ourselves against the best in the world.

“The way we have played over the last 12 months puts us in a good position going into this one.

“A lot of the team has been playing together over the last four years or so, so we’re really gelling as a unit and it’s something that’s in the back of our minds as we go into these NatWest Women’s Series against South Africa and India.”

Teenage wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor called for England to signal their intent ahead of the World Cup by following up their triumph over West Indies with wins against South Africa and India.

“I'm genuinely excited about next year's World Cup. It's a great opportunity for us to test ourselves against the best in the world at a high-profile women's cricket tournament," the 19-year-old said.

“On the back of a highly successful tour last winter we'll look to dominate in all three series this summer so that we're seen as a team to beat next year.

“From a personal point of view I want to continue to prove myself on the field throughout this summer to ensure I am fully prepared for the World Cup.”

England meet Sri Lanka in their opening game on March 7, with India and Pakistan making up the remainder of Group B.

Australia, New Zealand, West Indies and South Africa will compete in Group A.