Edwards eyes New Zealand challenge

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Rachel Priest & Charlotte Edwards

"It's a really big trip for us. New Zealand are one of the best teams in the world," Charlotte Edwards, right, said of England's next tour

Following the successful tour of South Africa, captain Charlotte Edwards already has her sights set on England women’s trip to New Zealand as significant preparation for the World Twenty20.

England arrived back in the UK on Tuesday morning after triumphing over the Proteas. Only a washout in the second T20 international prevented a clean sweep of victories in both limited-overs series.

England's next assignment is in New Zealand during February and March when they will play five T20s followed by three one-day internationals, a "vitally important” tour according to Edwards.

That is because their next overseas trip is the World T20 in Sri Lanka during September and October, a competition Edwards’ side won in 2009 but underperformed in last year.

She told ecb.co.uk: "I think the girls deserve a little bit of a break when they get back. But come the end of November when the team is announced there will be a programme in place that will prepare us for New Zealand. Obviously there will be a lot of indoor net training and so on.”

The White Ferns have narrowly lost the last two global finals, beaten by England in the 2009 World Cup showpiece and by Australia at the 2010 World T20.

"It's a really big trip for us. New Zealand are one of the best teams in the world,” Edwards added. “But if we go out there and play hard Twenty20 and as well as the one-dayers, I think it could be a really good tour for us and one we are really looking forward to.

“The two World Cups are not that far away so every game between now and then is vitally important for us in terms of making sure we prepare well."

England are set be without first choice left-arm spinner Holly Colvin in New Zealand due to university commitments throughout the winter.

Edwards thinks the Sussex star’s absence will be a great chance for another player to stake a claim.

"I don't believe Holly is going to be available for the tour but that gives another opportunity for one of the other girls again,” she said.

“It just means there is a great opportunity for some of the youngsters to hopefully stake a claim for a place. They've done brilliantly out here and it's another chance for them, if they get the chance, in New Zealand."

Edwards is set to be fit for the tour, despite fracturing a thumb in South Africa.