ONE of the most famous trophies in world sport is on its way to Huntingdonshire — thanks to a girl from Pidley. England ladies cricket captain Charlotte Edwards clinched the Ashes on Monday, hitting the winning runs to claim the first women s test series
ONE of the most famous trophies in world sport is on its way to Huntingdonshire - thanks to a girl from Pidley.
England ladies' cricket captain Charlotte Edwards clinched the Ashes on Monday, hitting the winning runs to claim the first women's test series win in Australia for more than 70 years.
Speaking exclusively to The Hunts Post from Sydney, Charlotte, 28, said she was dedicating the win to her father Clive, who died from cancer in 2006.
"It was unbelievable," said an ecstatic Charlotte, who went to school in Somersham and Ramsey. "I went to the wicket when we needed 21 runs to win and I was reasonably calm, but when it got down to the final two runs, my legs had turned to jelly.
"I thought I had lost all the strength in my arms. I was on auto-pilot when I hit the winning runs. I've come a long way since playing under-13 county cricket for Huntingdonshire."
The Ashes series was decided over a single, four-day test. England needed only to draw to retain the trophy they won in 2005.
Back home in Pidley, Charlotte's mum Yvonne said: "We are all absolutely thrilled to bits for her. She has always been very single-minded about everything - from when she insisted on being allowed to play football at Somersham Primary School.
"The support her dad gave her was never-ending and the miles and miles we covered to take her to matches and training have all paid off."
Martin Dawe, Charlotte's former games teacher and now deputy headteacher at Somersham Primary School, said: "She was exceptional at Kwik Cricket. She captained the side and we won the county tournament that year.
"She played for the football team as well and was a terrific sportswoman, but very modest with it and not at all big-headed."
Charlotte will have to wait before she can celebrate with her friends at home, however, as the team fly out to New Zealand today (Wednesday) for the second leg of their tour down under. The team fly home on March 5.
Charlotte, whose older brother Daniel also lives in the district, worked at cricket equipment manufacturer Hunts County Bats in Huntingdon for several years.
One of her former colleagues, Tony Cook, said: "Everyone knew how much this meant to Charlotte and no-one deserves the success more than she does after all the hard work and dedication she has put into her game."
Following the Ashes triumph, the England and Wales Cricket Board has announced that the top 10 female cricketers in the country will be awarded central contracts.
This means that those selected will be able to play cricket full-time - and Charlotte will be among the favourites to be awarded a contract.
Charlotte's triumph enhances her status as one of the most influential female England cricketers of all time.
Since making her test debut at the age of 16, all-rounder Charlotte has made a massive impact in the world of international women's cricket.
She has made more than 100 one day international (ODI) appearances for her country and scored a then-record ODI score of 173 not out in a World Cup match against Ireland the day before her 18th birthday.
Charlotte first captained England in 2005 and was appointed full-time captain in March 2006 following the retirement of Clare Connor.
Charlotte added: "We had a bit of a celebration on Monday night, I will say that much. I am so proud of the team and myself.