“Where were we exactly 10 years ago today?” tweeted Clare Connor to her former team-mates the day before England entered their, ultimately futile, must-win T20 against Australia at Hove on Friday. The former England captain, now Head of Women’s Cricket at the ECB, was alluding to the day England women, after 42 barren years, regained the Ashes from Australia in 2005.
England head into the first and only Test of their Ashes series on Tuesday knowing that Australia, now 4-2 up in the multi-format series after taking the One Day Internationals 2-1, have found the X-factor so sorely lacking at present in their men. Captain Meg Lanning is living up to her status as number one batter in the world having struck a sublime century in the second ODI to take her series tally to 195.
After success at the rugby and football World Cups, women’s sport is riding high in England, now it is the turn of the cricketers who will fly the flag against Australia.