Edwards plots title defence with the Taylors back in the fold

Yahoo Cricket Interviews

England Captain Charlotte Edwards is looking forward to defending the title and especially in the West Indies a place she feels in ideal for this type of competition.

England currently holds the ICC Women's World Twenty20 having won the inaugural tournament in England last year. Captain Charlotte Edwards is looking forward to defending the title and especially in the West Indies a place she feels in ideal for this type of competition.


The 30-year-old has played in 22 Twenty20 Internationals for her country and believes the mixture of experience and youth in the side will be key for retaining the trophy.


Looking ahead to the ICC World Twenty20 you will be heading to St. Kitts as defending champions are you nervous about that or are you quite confident  since you were recently in St Kitts, despite the fact you lost to the West Indies in that series?


We are really excited having been there in November as we saw what the condition are going to be like and I think we actually want to be a step ahead of most of the teams, We weren't particularly successful out in St Kitts but we learnt so much from our trip and we are really looking forward to going out there in full strength.


The last couple of tours we have missed Claire and Sarah Taylor and Holly Colvin and we are really excited about getting the whole group back together and we always feel that T20 is probably our preferred form of the game at the moment as we have a young side. We are really excited that the chance to defend our title has come around so quickly since last June and we are really looking forward to it.


Which team do you think are going to pose the biggest threat to England during the tournament?


Well I think it's just going to be Australia, New Zealand and India but having seen the West Indies and how they played in St Kitts in November I think they are going to be real threat to all the teams. They are on home soil as well and they have shown they can play some fantastic cricket. They are always improving year on year - hink they could be a surprise team for the tournament.


What kind of strategy do you take as a captain down to West Indies it is obviously different conditions to England and also to India where you recently played a series. What are the strategies you are going to look at ahead of the tournament?


I think obviously it has helped going out there to St Kitts. I think I misread the conditions of the West Indies when we were there in November. They had quite slow wickets and actually at Warner Park the outfield is not that quick, so I guess it is going to be different strategy that we need to put in place now. I am just pleased we were able to experience the conditions and again seeing the West Indies they have improved a hell of a lot since the World Cup in June. We obviously have a few ideas but I won't be telling too many people about them.


Which players you think are the once to watch in the West Indies?


I think Deandra Dottin is going to be a key player for the West Indies. I think she is an awesome talent. What I've seen of her with both bat and ball has been really exceptional and l have been really impressed by her.  Having been in India recently, I think their young spinner Gouhar Sultana is likely to be a real threat.  All the teams are playing really good cricket and the Australians have the likes of Shelley Nitschke in the form of her life.


This has the makings of a great tournament and I am really pleased going into it that it is not just the usual top three or four teams, the West Indies and South Africa are really pushing on us now as well which is really good. It is always going to be closer in a T20 format - I think we are up for a really exciting week in St Kitts and then on to St Lucia and Barbados.


Do you think that Twenty20 is more of a batters or a bowler's game?


I think more of a batters game, but I think there is more pressure on the batters because you have to score every ball and if you don't the pressure builds up on you. As for the bowlers they expect to go for six an over and if you get a wicket it's great. I have got mixed feelings really depends on the wicket but I think there is a lot more pressure on the batters then the people make out really.


Are you looking forward to having your key batter, Claire Taylor, back in the lineup when she comes out in the West Indies?


Absolutely, we have obviously really missed her experience more than anything and we also missed Sarah Taylor as well. They are two of our top four batters. If any side loses two of their top batters they would struggle.  It would leave a hole and we are really looking forward to getting them back on board. I know Claire is really looking forward to this she has been training hard throughout the winter as she has missed not only the St Kitts tour but also our recent trip to India. I know she is chomping at the bit to get to the West Indies and perform like she did in the last tournament.


The men's and women's semi-finals and final will be double-headers as it was in England. What do you think about that?


It was brilliant last year. It was certainly an eye opener for all us girls to be playing alongside some of the great names in the world of cricket.  We are looking forward to it again. I think its going to be a great experience and then playing in the West Indies again in front of such enthusiastic crowds is going to be a gift for us. We experienced it a bit in St. Kitts when played there they had a few people out there cheering but a global event will be different. I think it's a great way to go with the women's game in sense of the tournament running alongside each other I think it is fantastic for women's cricket.