A review of England’s performances in 2011.

England after taking a wicket vs New Zealand at the Ford County ground, Chelmsford in June 2010.

Played 23 Won: 17 Lost: 5 No result: 1

On paper then a fairly spectacular year for all concerned for the England team. They won 5 out of 7 series and are looking to carry their excellent form that they showed in south Africa into their tour of New Zealand in the new year.

But 1 of those series losses was the Ashes test match in Sydney , when Charlotte Edwards showed her class with a century in England’s first innings, but in the second innings nobody else could follow her lead and a collapse allowed Australia to win by 7 wickets on the final day.
Though England were to bounce back from this loss to win the Twenty20 series in Australia, the Australians at home were too strong for them in the ODIs and England were thumped, losing 1-4.

Back at home England were at times far too good for most teams, especially when I saw them demolishing the Kiwis by 8 wickets at Chelmsford . Although Australia again proved to be a thorn in their side, especially during the ODI loss at Lord’s, England were a far stronger team than earlier in the year and this saw them overcome the Australians in the final at Wormsely.
There then followed a break in international cricket for England that allowed Charlotte Edwards to pick up the ICC women’s cricketer of the year award and win the county championship for Kent (a bright spot in an otherwise very troubling year for Kent CCC) England went to South Africa and dominated both series, going unbeaten.

This year has been full of achievement for the team after a particularly difficult 2010 that had seen them lose their World Twenty20 crown and then the Ashes this January. One of the reasons behind their resurgence can be attributed to the return to international cricket of Arran Brindle. Brindle was a key member of the 2005 Ashes-winning side and her return to international cricket has given the team some much needed nous and experience which was sorely lacking on the Australian tour in the longer forms of the game.
Ironically, though Brindle scored her maiden ODI ton in South Africa , her best innings wasn’t in international cricket at all, but for Louth CC in the Lincolnshire ECB Premier League when she made 128 vs Market Deeping CC. This was the first time that a woman has ever made a hundred in one of the 20 ECB premier leagues that constitute the peak of recreational game and often form a bridge to the professional game, it’s a watershed moment and shows that the game for women is coming on leaps and bounds from where it was, even though there is still a lot more that could be done by the ECB to further enhance women’s cricket in England & Wales.

So what next for the England side? Well the squad announced for the tour of New Zealand is a strong one and they’re favourites to win the Twenty20 & ODI series. As an aside, whilst it’s good to see that Sky will be broadcasting coverage of 2 of these games, the fact of the matter is that just as England fans will be getting into the series, there’ll be no further live coverage, and we’ll have to put up with following Cricinfo to find out the results, which is a disappointment to say the least.

The tour to Australia at the start of the year was dealt a blow when a Sarah Taylor (probably the second best wicket-keeper in England behind James Foster) announced that she could not tour due to financial considerations, surely this is something that the ECB could address? It receives £350m over 4 years from broadcasting alone, surely 1% of this can go on maintaining 15 players on central contracts, rather than the quasi-employment that operates now where the England captain is not employed by the ECB, but by “Chance to Shine” the ECB’s charity?

On a final note, it was great to see that England’s Twenty20 side getting to play in front of good-sized crowds as a result of the double-header matches with the men’s FL Twenty20 cup games. Cricket fans got the pleasure of seeing Sarah Taylor setting the standards with her glove-work for James Foster to follow, Holly Colvin turning the ball more than Tim Phillips, and Claire Taylor showing more technique than Shahid Afridi and Lydia Greenway pulling off a stunning catch on the mid-wicket boundary.
India tour England next summer in 2 Twenty20 internationals & 5 ODIs, so there’ll be another 2 double-header twenty20 matches at Canterbury & Chelmsford. These double-headers are great value for money and it’s a great way to show everyone that the only “walk-on” a woman needs to do in a cricket match is out to the middle with her pads on, ready to drive the fast bowlers back down the ground for 4.

P.S. I’m well aware that this article has barely scraped the surface of the achievements of the side in 2011, so feel free to add your highlights of the year in the comments below or tweet me (www.twitter.com/PaulFrame85)

The England Squad to tour New Zealand in February & March next year:

Charlotte Edwards (captain) (Kent)
Jenny Gunn (Yorkshire)
Tammy Beaumont (Kent)
Arran Brindle (Sussex)
Georgia Elwiss (Sussex)
Lydia Greenway (Kent)
Isa Guha (Berkshire)
Danni Hazel (Yorkshire)
Heather Knight (Berkshire)
Laura Marsh (Kent)
Beth Morgan (Middlesex)
Susie Rowe (Kent)
Anya Shrubsole (Somerset)
Sarah Taylor (Sussex)
Danni Wyatt (Staffordshire)

This Is the Story

As I mentioned in my first post I’ve been toying with a new style of cover letter to get recruiters & HR officers attention when applying for work. I also mentioned that I had done a similar thing before when applying to go to university some years back and met with a deal of success having “gone all Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy on that statement.”

Well I’ve found the the statement and now I’m sharing it on here, it has gained me a deal of notoriety at my old school, having been held up as an example of risk-taking, both good and bad.

Anyway, here it is, alongside the original material that inspired me, for what it’s worth the courses I applied to were 5 international politics/relations and 1 History of Science course, which dictates some of  the content, obviously.

This is the personal statement of Paul Frame; potentially more successful than the Ethiopian space programme, more controversial than most Channel 4 documentaries, and better selling than God’s trilogy of philosophical blockbusters, ‘Where Marx went wrong’, ‘Some more of Marx’s greatest mistakes’ and ‘Who is this Karl Marx person anyway?’ In many of the more relaxed staff rooms in the Home Counties, this personal statement could possibly become the standard repository of all pins and Blue Tack.

I was fascinated with looking for the answers to life the universe and everything in my childhood and, upon finding out at the age of 12 that this was ‘42’, I have been enthralled by history, politics and physics ever since. They have given me an insight into the forces and reasoning behind events or concepts, be it why Britain formed alliances in the early 20th century, where power really lies in Britain or what a star undergoes towards the end of its life. Through the study of these concepts I have gained an insight into human and institutional behaviour, but above all I am fascinated with events, with what can be learned from how they occurred and what is the importance of them in relation to the present day.

By reading books such as ‘The Secret State’, ‘What if?’ ‘The search for peace’ and ‘A man on the moon’ by Peter Hennessey, Robert Cowley, Douglas Hurd and Andrew Chaikin, respectively, my understanding and insight into history, politics and the history and applications of physics has been increased.  This in turn has fostered in me a desire to study these subjects at a deeper level.  Another book (or rather a series of books, radio and television series, computer game and towel) that has had a profound impact upon my thinking / personal outlook / perspective / sense of humour and personal statement is ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy’ by Douglas Adams.

I hope to use the knowledge, skills and understanding gained from my degree in my subsequent career. I have had experience of both working in government, from my work experience at the local council, and in industry, I participated in an “Insight into Management” week, which involved working in teams and, among other things, developing a marketing campaign for selling a real ale into Europe (my team won that competition).  After university I am planning to consider a career in journalism, teaching, or is some aspect of government service (be it local, national or in the various intergovernmental bodies of which the UK is a member), or working as a consultant to companies / pressure groups / political parties / politicians.

My sense of humour is a little warped and satirical, as reflected in the opening of this personal statement.  I like reading, listening to music, (my collection encompasses everything from Pink Floyd to Oasis, Led Zeppelin, Professor Elemental to Tchaikovsky). I have the bowling action and batting skill of a one-armed monkey and the cycling style of an elephant on a clown’s bicycle, but this does not stop me enjoying cricket, cycling, and a curious sport called ‘Brokian Ultra Cricket’, which involves handing in work and running away, terribly fast!

Thanks for reading and reaching this far.