On to the New Zealand leg of the tour
Posted in England Women
We completed our Ashes success with a photo shoot at Circular Quay on the steps of the Sydney Opera House, with the famous building and Harbour Bridge as the backdrop.
Some were feeling a little more sprightly than others and afterwards headed off for lunch and shopping on our last day in Australia, while the remaining ones returned to the hotel for an afternoon-long siesta!
The following day we headed to New Zealand for our final leg of the tour – five ODIs at Lincoln University on the South Island. After waiting for over an hour, the bus to take us to the airport finally arrived, with just over an hour and a half to spare before our flight left.
Manager Megan was worried about catching the flight, while others were more concerned that we wouldn’t have enough time in duty free! They needn’t have worried; we had plenty of time to stock up on boomerangs, ugg boots, perfume and cheap bikinis!
On arrival in New Zealand, our physio Sue Hughes had a hold-up of an hour and a half at customs due to her declaration of essential medicine supplies. She wasn’t best pleased and missed the bus back to the hotel!
On Thursday the England team and all their entourage arrived in Christchurch ahead of their final ODI against New Zealand. So that night I caught up with BBC radio journalist, and my flat mate Alison Mitchell for dinner. It was good to catch up on the gossip from home and get the stories from her tour so far.
England Women played their only practice match on Friday against New Zealand A at Lincoln University at the same time as England men had a training session. A few of the men’s team and support staff popped over to see how the women were doing and the Sussex girls were pleased to see Luke Wright spend a few spare minutes on the boundary watching their progress.
The women won convincingly by 97 runs, a good result heading into the series.
On Saturday we headed to the AMI stadium in Christchurch to watch England play New Zealand.
We donned our Paul Costelloe number twos; a good job too as the cameras found the team to congratulate them on their Ashes victory and to advertise the forthcoming series to the crowd.
I kept Lottie and Isa busy throughout the interval doing interviews on Sky Sports with David Gower and then 20 minutes on TMS with Isa’s favourite, Jonathan Agnew.
The players left the game early to get an early night in preparation for their first ODI the next day. It was a good call as the rain came and New Zealand won by 34 runs on Duckworth/Lewis.
On Sunday, England lost their opening game of the New Zealand series, losing to the White Ferns by 123 runs, but the following day they returned to beat their hosts by nine wickets. It is the first time they have beaten New Zealand in New Zealand since 1982.
In an effort to encourage more girls to play cricket, New Zealand cricket had invited a number of clubs and schools to the game on Monday to watch, but also to take part in some cricketing drills.
Acting head coach Mark Lane and Rosalie Birch both took the opportunity to hone their coaching skills and passed on some valuable advice to the youngsters.