Described as the first lady of English-and world-cricket, Charlotte Edwards is considered the best in the business. England have played 481 matches since women’s internationals started in Brisbane in 1935, Lotte has played in 298 of them, 209 as captain spanning all three formats of the game.Making her debut as a sixteen year-old in 1995, she has scored more runs in limited-over internationals than anyone else and only one player, Janette Brittin has made more test runs. Last year she was named one of Wisden’s Cricketers of the Year, only the second woman to claim that honour and won the ICC Woman’s Player of the Year in 2008.
Having already claimed five Ashes series, Charlotte and her team found the Australians a lot tougher in 2015 and lost the series for the first time in twelve years. Despite having her hands full she was able to fit in a pen and time to sign my sketch during the four-day test at Kent’s Spitfire Ground last month.
While the Ashes series clicks into gear, I recall the Bicentennial Test between the two great rivals. It was a single, one-off match at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 1988 to celebrate the bicentenary of permanent European settlement in Australia. It was played from 29 January to the 2 February, but was not part of The Ashes series. England were captained by Mike Gatting and the hosts by Allan Border.
The result was a draw… and by some illustrative intuition I ‘drew’ this ‘toon and made up a ‘team sheet’ sending it to the famous ground and hoping both squads members would ‘graph it for me. In those days the cricket fraternity were much more obliging, plus I used a courier who ‘knew a bloke’ on the inside. In fact, he knew a number of blokes with connections, so I used him often. Needless to say, he did manage to see a bit of sport at the same time, and you can’t rush a good delivery, as they say in cricket! It was a mutual relationship that worked well.