Edwards wary of Australian women backlash

England women's captain Charlotte Edwards with the Ashes trophy
England women's captain Charlotte Edwards with the Ashes trophy
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ENGLAND captain Charlotte Edwards insists her side’s summer success will have little influence on today’s Women’s Ashes Test.

England won the reformatted series 12 points to four despite drawing the Test match at Wormsley.

That makes them favourites to retain the urn Down Under but, having seen their male counterparts whitewashed 5-0 after celebrating their own victory a matter of months ago, they will be wary of an Australian response at the WACA.

With six points on offer in the solitary Test – compared to two for every ODI and T20 match – Edwards knows how important it is to hit the ground running.

“I personally don’t think this summer is going to have any bearing on what happens over the next few weeks,” she said.

“I think it’s important that we start well. I think we’ve seen that from the men’s series and I’ve no doubt it’s going to be the same here.

“All our preparation has been around us winning this Test match.

“We feel we’ve got the squad to do that and I think it’s important that we start with that mentality. It’s a huge incentive to get that six points on the board early on.

“We know we’re going to have to play well, but our preparations have gone really well and we’ll be coming out hopefully all guns blazing.”

Her opposite number, Jodie Fields, has also been taking pointers from the recently concluded men’s Ashes.

Darren Lehmann’s side impressed with their attacking style, while the tourists struggled with a game built around containment.

Fields said: “It was a disappointing series for us in England but we are very keen to right that here.

“We’ve all gone back to our domestic teams and we are in form. I can’t wait to get out there.

“We want to go out and play an aggressive brand of cricket like the men have.

“We’re here to focus on what the Australian team is doing well and I can’t wait to see what they do.”

New Zealand umpire Tony Hill has ended his 15-year international career to take up a role as an umpires coach in his homeland.

Hill’s decision to step down from the ‘Elite Panel of Umpires’ comes after he was used only as a third umpire during the recent Ashes series.

The 62-year-old was criticised for some of his decision-making during England’s 3-0 Ashes success in the summer, with reports afterwards suggesting he was considering retirement.

Hill stood in 40 Tests, 96 one-day internationals and 17 Twenty20s and has been an elite umpire for the past 11 years.

Commenting on his decision, Hill said: “I have treasured my time as an umpire and more recently as an elite umpire.

“It has been so special officiating internationally among great players alongside the finest umpires in the world. What a privilege.

“This wonderful opportunity as NZC Umpire Coach enables me to continue to be part of this marvellous match official community and work with aspiring umpires.”