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September 20, 2012
England's women conceded their World Twenty20 title in 2010 but remain favourites to win it back this year, given their extraordinary run of success in the format over the last two years.
Their captain, Charlotte Edwards, will be leading the side in the tournament for the third time, having lifted the trophy in the inaugural event in 2009.
Speaking to Alison Mitchell on ESPNcricinfo, Edwards said that the 2010 defeat had made her stronger. "It's made me more hungry for success and I think that has probably come out in the team as well. They are really hungry to win back this Twenty20 trophy."
She described the 2010 tournament as a turning point for England's T20 cricket. "We came home, had a good look at what we were doing and realised we needed to change a few things, and from there we set up a brand of cricket that has worked really really well for us."
Since failing to qualify for the World Twenty20 semi-finals in West Indies, England have lost only four of their 32 T20s - a run that included a streak of 19 consecutive wins. They arrived in Sri Lanka on the back of a 4-1 victory against West Indies at home.
Edwards said she looked at Australia, India, New Zealand and West Indies as England's main threats for the title in 2012.
"This is an exciting time to be part of the women's game," she said, about the crop of promising players around - among them Australia's Ellyse Perry, Danielle Wyatt and Sarah Taylor of England, and Harmanpreet Kaul of India. "This World Cup is an opportunity for those youngsters to really shine."
Edwards said she demanded a lot of her players, but only as much as she did of herself. "I'm hard but I'm fair. I set very, very high standards but I'm part of the team. I'm not a person who sits up there dictating to the rest of the girls. I'm part of it. I'm one of the girls and I really enjoy their company. I really enjoy other people's success, and hopefully that comes through in our cricket."
Having Mark Lane as England's coach helped, Edwards said, because the two constantly challenged each other. "I think we complement each other really well. We're quite similar in a lot of ways. He's a really funny man who makes everyone really relaxed and we both challenge one another, I think that's really important. It's not about 'what I say goes' or vice-versa. Most importantly we've got brilliant players. We've got some world class players who are really doing the business at the moment."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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