Tue. May 30th, 2023

Former England captain Charlotte Edwards has described coaching Mumbai Indians to victory in the inaugural Women’s Premier League as “one of my greatest moments in cricket”.

As a player, Edwards was capped a record 309 times by England across all formats, captaining her country on 220 of those occasions, which included leading them to a 50-over and T20 World Cup double in 2009 as well as three Ashes series wins ( and one draw).

Since retiring from playing in 2017, Edwards has been a hugely-successful coach, with her stint in charge of Mumbai the latest in a number of high-profile roles in white-ball franchise tournaments.

Domestically, the 43-year-old led Southern Vipers to two Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy titles and one Charlotte Edwards Cup success, while she also coached Southern Brave to back-to-back Hundred finals. Last winter, she led Sydney Sixers to the final of the Women’s Big Bash League after a record 11 wins in the group stage.

But while those finals with the Brave and Sixers ended in defeat, Edwards led Mumbai to a seven-wicket win over Delhi Capitals in Sunday’s WPL title clash.

“I am over the moon,” Edwards said. “It is up there as one of my greatest moments in cricket.

“It’s been an unbelievable group, they’ve stuck together, they have gelled brilliantly, and some strong friendships have built through this tournament. It has been amazing to be around.”

Edwards added: “I’m going to have to pinch myself. To think that we’ve achieved this in the first year, it’s pretty special.

“I’m just enormously proud of what we’ve achieved over the last month with this group. A lot of hard work has gone in and the players have really responded to everything that we’ve asked of them.

“I’ve had a wonderful coaching group to work with. We’ve been a real team. It was an emotional moment in the dugout with the support staff.

“I didn’t really want the tournament to end because we’ve had so much fun along the way.

“That’s what we’ve talked about a lot: having lots of fun, enjoying each other’s company and playing some really competitive cricket, which we’ve done. It’s been a wonderful experience.”

Charlotte Edwards (Associated Press)
Charlotte Edwards captained England 220 times from 2005 until her international retirement in 2016

Edwards an England coach in waiting?

Edwards’ WPL success is only going to aid the notion that she is a future England coach in waiting.

After the departure of Lisa Keightley as head coach last summer, Edwards initially expressed some interest in taking on the role before later ruling herself out, telling Sky Sports in September: “I don’t think it’s for me right now.”

“I’m really happy doing what I’m doing,” she added. “It just feels at the moment potentially that I’ve got the best of everything… And I guess I’ve got quite a long time to coach England. I’m still quite young – well I think I am.

“I feel like I’m really developing and so, yeah, I’d probably need someone to contact me and talk to me about it. But I’m definitely sort of happy where I am and I’ll continue to do what I ‘m doing.”

The England job ultimately went to form men’s bowling coach Jon Lewis, who took over in November and impressed many with the attacking approach he instilled in the side during their run to the T20 World Cup semi-finals in February.

Following her spell with Sydney in the Women’s BBL over the winter, Edwards was hired by Mumbai for the WPL and, based on her first experience, she believes the tournament is a game-changer for the women’s game.

“It’s massive for the women’s game, this tournament,” Edwards said.

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Tamsin Beaumont says the WPL is a ‘game-changer’ and will be the ‘making of women’s cricket’

“When I got to my phone [following the final], I think I had about 160 posts. That just shows you the reach of this tournament already.

“It’s probably going to be the biggest thing to happen to women’s cricket, the WPL.

“To start it in the fashion we’ve done, to see the crowds we’ve had and witness it all is, for us, is something I won’t forget.”

By cb2gp