Edwards' legend grows
The scream Charlotte Edwards let out when she reached her century against India hinted at the pressure she had been under. The pressure wasn't for her place in the side but something she puts on herself, as a captain who always wants to be leading from the front. Coming into the match, Edwards had managed double figures only once in her last seven ODI innings, going back to March last year. She grew up on a potato farm in the village of Pidley in Cambridgeshire and has now passed Australia's Belinda Clark as the all-time leading ODI run-scorer in women's cricket. I wonder how much longer she will play for. She is 33 years old and playing in her fifth World Cup, but she seems to have a lot more cricket in her. The game is her life. Ask her what she does in her spare time and she'll look at you a little blankly before replying that if she isn't playing cricket she is coaching and watching it. She is highly respected and universally liked, and plays her part in the governance of the game by being a member of the ICC Cricket Committee. She is a living legend of the game.
*** Performance of the day, though, has to go to Stafanie Taylor of West Indies. In fact she can share it with Deandra Dottin, Taylor scored a mammoth 171 off 137 balls - the third-highest ODI score of all time - as West Indies got their first victory of the tournament over Sri Lanka. Dottin broke the record for the fastest fifty by a woman, reaching the mark off just 20 balls, three quicker than Australia’s Meg Lanning managed in December.
*** I was treated to an evening at Bombay Gymkhana over the weekend, to watch the Six Nations on TV in the bar. A good friend of mine, Chait Sinh, was my host. He used to captain the India rugby team and I got to know him and a number of the team when they toured the UK in 2004. While England were busy winning the Calcutta Cup, I was taken to see the 'other' Calcutta Cup, which is sitting proudly in the Gymkhana trophy cabinet. It is a replica of the trophy contested by England and Scotland, presented to the Indian Rugby Football Union by the RFU in return for the Calcutta Cup. The original Calcutta Cup was made by the Calcutta Rugby Football Club when it was forced to close down in 1878. The club withdrew the remaining funds in their bank account, smelted down the silver rupee coins in its coffers and had the cup made, offering it as a gift to the RFU for the betterment of rugby. The cup that the IRFU own is played for each year in the guise of the All India and South Asia Rugby tournament. In 2012, Bombay Gymkhana won the cup for the first time in a decade under the captaincy of Nasser Hussan - another veteran of the national side's 2004 tour to the UK. It was the 79th year of the competition.
*** Maybe the England team can attribute a change in fortune at this World Cup to the presence of George. Who is George? A small, beige-coloured teddy bear, who is being brought to matches by the mother of offspinner Laura Marsh. The bear came from the Marshs' hotel in New Zealand when England toured there last year, and he became something of a lucky mascot, as England won the T20 series 4-0 and the ODIs 3-0. England will be hoping George makes an appearance at their next group match against the West Indies too.