Lane pens blueprint
Mark Lane chatted to ECBtv ahead of the tour to the Caribbean
The spoils of this year’s success are still gleaming in the ECB reception, but England women's coach Mark Lane is already planning how to make sure the trophies remain at Lord’s for many years to come.
England enjoyed a stunning 2009 – they won the World Cup and World Twenty20, beat Australia 4-0 in a one-day series before concluding the summer by retaining the Ashes.
The ink on that successful blueprint might only have just dried, yet Lane is busy drawing up new plans.
While every member of the all-conquering squad should be available to defend the World Twenty20 title in May in the Caribbean, Lane knows he cannot afford to presume the same for the next World Cup which will be held in India in 2013.
With that in mind Lane is busy scouring the young talent coming through the Academy and domestic competitions to see if his squad can be improved.
Tamsin Beaumont is the latest player to graduate from the Academy – the 18-year-old has been selected for the first time to replace the worn-out Sarah Taylor for the tour of West Indies.
“We are always striving to find the next batch of young players,” Lane told ECBtv.
“Our Junior Super 4s programme has produced a few players for the Academy this year and that’s where Tammy first started in our system.
“It looks like it’s working but we are always trying to get better. As I said to the players, we always have to push ourselves and push the bar higher because everyone is trying to come and get us.”
Lane says the next few years are about balance; while he wants to win every game, he knows he must blood the next generation of players coming through.
Bringing new players into a winning side is far more beneficial than mass rotation when a team is losing. With that in mind, there will not be a better time for Lane to try out new players and expose them to the winning culture.
“My heart will always say let’s win a game of cricket,” he said. “But deep down I have to think of the long-term goals and strategy of the ECB and elite women’s cricket.
“There is a fine line. We’ve got the players who are very successful at the top end but also the new players coming through are learning from the Charlotte Edwards, Holly Colvins, Nicky Shaws. We have a lot of experience and we want to share that throughout the squad.
“To make changes when we are still winning – that’s what we are all about.”
Both Lane and captain Charlotte Edwards are adamant that this golden generation has not hit their peak yet, a frightening prospect for the chasing pack of countries currently trailing in England’s wake.
“I am a hard task master," said Lane. "We played some really good tournament cricket, we won the right games at the right time, we beat the Aussies 4-0, but it could have been 2-2.
“We know we can be better and we are still winning, so we are lucky. We are pleased to be in the position we are but we know we can get better.
“No one is going to sit back on their laurels. The players want to get better and that’s the key. If they want to get fitter, stronger, faster, then we are here to supply the knowledge to them.”