Charlotte Edwards' tour diary - exclusive

'I'm telling stories about cockroaches'

Charlotte Edwards' exclusive tour diary

November 12, 2005

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England women's coach Richard Bates addresses an excited media © Getty Images
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Monday, November 7
We arrived in Sri Lanka in the afternoon, weary after a ten-and-a-half hour flight. Journalists met us and they were very excited by our arrival; they all wanted team photos which appeared in the following day's papers.

Only one small van turned up to take us and our 36 bags - not really big enough bearing in mind we had each taken 50kg worth of kit and other essentials. I was loving the fact that we didn't have to actually carry our own bags which was done by the helpful locals here.

We arrived at our hotel which has fantastic facilities - especially compared with what may come in India - so we're making the most of it while we can! The younger members of the squad have become accustomed to the four-star hotels we normally stay in, so I'm trying to make them realise that it may not always be like that and hasn't been so in the past and telling them stories about cockroaches and wildlife...in your bed.

Tuesday, November 8
Our first full day, and a day of rest. We all took advantage by having some quiet time. Someone at home had recommended Odel's department store: so, in order to indulge my love of shopping, the whole crew piled into tuk-tuks (three-wheeled motorised taxis where bartering with the driver is a must!) and we raced each other to the shop. I won. All in all, though, we were disappointed and we all came away empty-handed.

I have had BBC Look East filming our first week on tour, so once back at the hotel I headed down to the beach for my Baywatch debut: in reality, a mere jog along the promenade with the locals giving me very odd looks. I felt ready for a night in the hotel in preparation for training the next day.

Wednesday, November 9
The day dawned hot and humid following heavy rainfall throughout the night, so we had to train indoors. We rocked up to the Indoor Cricket Centre to find four nets and no air-conditioning. It was possibly the hottest training session we've ever had, with all the girls sweating profusely and being able to wring out their kit at the end. However, it was a great run-out and a fantastic practice as it acclimatised us to the hot conditions and we all coped with them really well.

After two hours in the nets we headed to some nearby land for fielding practice. We arrived at two football pitches where we could only do catching and no fielding drills due to the uneven ground and waterlogged patches. After half an hour we called it a day.

That evening we were hosted by Stephen Evans OBE from the British High Commission here in Colombo. We met the Sri Lankan team and the highlight of the night for us were the chicken nuggets and sausage rolls. We also ensured a few extra supporters for tomorrow's game in the form of other employees of the British Embassy and High Commission.



'I was pleased with my first match as captain' © Getty Images
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Thursday, November 10
I woke up slightly more nervous than usual due to the impending match and my first game as England captain. It all started well with me winning the toss - tails never fails - and I elected to bat. Half an hour later I was walking to the crease with Laura [Newton] ready to face the first ball of this tour.

We got off to a slow, but solid start as we tried to adjust to the new conditions and very slow outfield. It was a very slow and low wicket - a bit different from the Loughborough Academy where I've been training for the last six weeks. Laura and I put on a good partnership of 48 for the first wicket, which gave the rest of the team something to build on. They did that very well and, in the heat, we posted an excellent score of 224 for 4.

After the interval the Sri Lankans reply started very positively. Initially they ran well, but after some tight bowling from Cheesy [Rosalie Birch] and Beth [Morgan] we bowled them out for 61 in the 29th over. It was a fantastic allround performance by the team.

Friday, November 12
I'm pleased with how my first game as captain went - and I hope I continue with my 100% record! Tomorrow we play our second ODI at the Premadasa stadium where we hope to clinch the series 2-0.

We've all re-hydrated ourselves from the first outing and are hoping to give other squad members a game so everyone has match practice with India looming. There is rain forecast - it's the monsoon season - but fingers crossed we avoid it as we have done so far. Then on Monday it's on to Meerut in India.

I'll be back next week to recount tales from the hotel and the results of our first series against Sri Lanka.

Charlotte Edwards' tour diary will appear on Cricinfo every Saturday throughout England women's tour of Sri Lanka and India

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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