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Some summer fun before serious action starts

Posted in England Women

Isa Guha

Isa Guha at England training

Interest in the women’s international summer is slowly starting to build and an appearance in the Cricathlon on Cricket AM certainly helped to generate a bit more coverage.

Ebony Rainford-Brent, Lydia Greenway and Caroline Atkins lined up to take part in the 60m sprint, complete with pads and bat, the stump javelin and the high jump. Ebony took an early lead and continued to dominate throughout, taking first place and lining up on the podium with Caroline in 2nd and Lydia in 3rd. It produced great TV and was well worth staying in for on a Saturday morning.

After the fun and frivolities it was back down to serious business with a training session at Loughborough ahead of the two ODIs against the West Indies. A three-hour session including net and fielding practice was followed by two overs in the nets for a Sky Sports magazine journalist. He faired quite well by all accounts, but he missed the first few balls as he “got his eye in”. He was delivered a bouncer early on by Nunny (Katherine Brunt), which struck him straight in the chest, but he recovered sufficiently to see his two overs out.

Following the session it was time for a touch of make-up and a hair brush in preparation for profile photos by Christopher Lee at Getty Images. The players all donned their new adidas kits and flashed their pearly whites before a return to the ECB accommodation for a much-needed rest and early night.

The next morning we all met at 9.15am for warm-up ahead of the first ODI fo the summer. Lottie won the toss and opted to bat. England posted 156 for four before the rain came and the match was abandoned. Despite not taking to the field Isa won her 50th ODI cap which was presented to her by Lottie.

Lydia Greenway

Lydia Greenway in full flow at Loughborough

It was a much brighter day on Saturday, but we had a delayed start by half an hour due to the torrential rain the day before. Lottie again won the toss for England and this time opted to bowl. England’s bowling attack was on fire and the West Indies were all out for 41 before lunch. It was the second lowest total anyone had ever scored against England. (The lowest, if you’re interested, was by Scotland, who scored just 24 in 2000)

Sarah Taylor (30) and Ebony (5) opened for England and knocked off the runs in 7.5 overs to see England to a comfortable victory. It was fantastic preparation for the South Africa series which kicks off in Kent on August 6.

There are now regular group training sessions as well as individual nets and practices taking place up and down the country as the 15 selected players prepare accordingly for their busiest summer ever.

Mark Lane

Mark Lne conducts England training at Loughborough