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All hands on deck

Posted in England Women

Imogen Gaunt

© Getty Images

On the morning of July 1 twelve members of the England women's squad headed to the Port of Dover to board a SeaFrance ferry to Calais on which they would launch the international summer.

It was a swelteringly hot day with not a cloud in the sky providing perfect conditions for a game of cricket on deck. On the crossing to Calais players had the opportunity to explore the ferry and to take advantage of duty free prices in the shop, in between posing for photographs in the brilliant sunshine.

Once berthed in Calais, it was all hands on deck to set up a cricket pitch complete with NatWest stumps, boundary rope, banners and even a mini scoreboard and then split the 12 players into two teams of six.

With strict instructions to try and keep the balls within the ship, the match was soon underway under the watchful eye of umpire Lorraine Elgar.

The side batting first got off to a good start with Ebony Rainford-Brent and Charlotte Edwards opening the batting. They went on to make 112, which the second team soon chased down. Isa Guha needed four off the last ball and she smashed a mighty six to lead her side to a well-deserved victory.

We lost 11 of the 12 balls we took with us and we dutifully signed the remaining ball to hand over to the captain of the ship, a French gentleman who seemed quite bemused by the whole thing!

On the return journey we settled down to a lunch of smoked salmon, charcuterie meats and salad followed by delicious French cakes and cheese and some fresh fruit.

The players then settled down to various interviews with the assembled media who had spent the day sunning themselves on deck. We also managed a few picnic shots at the front of the ferry and the obligatory team shot to record a day well spent.