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WOMENS: England Women retain the Ashes in Australia

29-Jan-2014

Sussex's Sarah Taylor on her way to an unbeaten 50 today (Getty)

England retained the Women’s Ashes at the Blundstone Arena today by recording a 9 wicket victory against Australia in the first Twenty20 International between the two teams, as three Sussex players were in the line-up for the first T20 international.

Sarah Taylor an unbeaten 50 from 37 balls in the win whilst Arran Brindle and Georgia Elwiss were also in the victiorious side.

The result meant that England secured the two points required to take them to an unassailable ten point tally for the series, having previously won the Test match in Perth from 10-13th January, and the first ODI at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on 19th January.

It is the second time that the Women’s Ashes have been played as a multi-format contest – consisting of one Test (six points), three One Day Internationals (two points each) and three Twenty20 Internationals (two points each) – with England also triumphing on home soil in the inaugural multi-format competition between the two teams last summer, twelve points to four.

Speaking immediately after the match today, England Women’s captain, Charlotte Edwards, said: “It’s difficult to put into words exactly what I am feeling at the moment – I am absolutely ecstatic! I am so proud of all the girls – every player in this squad has played their part out there.

“There are still two matches to play in this Women’s Ashes Series, and we want to win both of them. Australia can never be underestimated – as demonstrated by how they played in the second two ODIs against us – they are a very strong side and play with a lot of pride, so I expect them to come at us hard again in the remaining T20s.

“Thank you to everyone who has supported us over the last six months – the team has been overwhelmed by the level of encouragement that we have received. Having personally played international cricket for England for over sixteen years now, the volume of media coverage has been unprecedented, and I hope that our back-to-back Ashes victories will inspire more women and girls to play the game.”

England Women’s Head of Performance, Paul Shaw, added: “I am absolutely delighted with the result today. The unity and hard work displayed by every single member of this England Women’s squad has been second to none since the moment we touched down in Australia on New Year’s Eve.

“Conditions have not been easy – in particular the Test match in Perth was a big challenge across all four days, and the two close defeats in the ODIs were tough to deal with – but the players have demonstrated a remarkable hunger to succeed. This has been a real team effort and special mention must also go to the support staff, who have all played an important role in making sure that the players can execute their plans on the field.

“Winning the Ashes on home soil last summer was a huge achievement for everyone involved; winning them in Australia less than six months later is even bigger and feels even better.”

ECB Chief Executive, David Collier, has also commended the team: “The England Women's team has produced an outstanding result to retain the Ashes in Australia and everyone at ECB sends our warmest congratulations to Charlotte Edwards, Paul Shaw, the players and the management team. The quality and standard of cricket throughout the matches has been a credit to both teams and augurs well for the forthcoming ICC World T20 in Bangladesh. In particular the performance in the Women’s Ashes Test match in Perth in extreme weather conditions demonstrated the highest level of fitness as well as technical ability of all the players, and I wish Charlotte and the team every success for the remaining matches in the series.”

The two teams will now play the two remaining Twenty20 Internationals to complete the multi-format Women’s Ashes series. All three of the T20s are double-headers with England and Australia men, with the two still to play on 31st January (MCG, Melbourne) and 2nd February (Stadium Australia, Sydney).

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