Edwards wary of big-hitting SA

  • Last Updated: April 3 2014, 18:56 BST

England face South Africa in the semi-final of the Women’s World Twenty20 tournament on Friday hoping to set up a clash with Australia in Sunday’s final.

Edwards wary of big-hitting SA

England go in as heavy favourites against South Africa in Dhaka, though captain Charlotte Edwards is wary of an up and coming Proteas side.

South Africa have hit 10 sixes in the tournament so far, while an England side who rely less on power and more on placement have yet to clear the ropes.

"We've never been a big-hitting side in terms of sixes. We hit a lot of boundaries in terms of fours, but not sixes," Edwards admitted.

"They've got some big hitters up the top of the order and obviously that's a threat to us. But we've got a good bowling attack and hopefully we can restrict that."

Anya Shrubsole is key to those plans, with the 22-year-old topping the wicket-taking charts with 10 in the group stage.

Edwards has led the way with the bat so far, scoring her side's only half-century and making 151 runs.

The 34-year-old also spoke of her belief that the combination of on-field success and financial security will help cricket attract the country's best young athletes.

The England and Wales Cricket Board announced earlier this year that its top female players would be awarded full-time professional contracts this summer, as well as investing heavily in the development and promotion of the game.

Edwards, who worked 9-5 for a bat manufacturing firm when she began playing for England in 1996, believes that represents a huge opportunity for the game to bring in new talent.

It is equally important to have a successful national team to aspire to and, having won back-to-back Ashes and now reaching the semi-finals of the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh, Edwards' side are fulfilling their part of the bargain.

Edwards, who leads her side against South Africa in the last four on Friday, said: "For the young girls who may have chosen hockey or football traditionally, to know they can have a career in cricket is hopefully going to attract a lot of girls to the sport.

"Combined with the success this team's having and the exposure of the women's game to the whole world, the future certainly looks bright.

"My first couple of tours I was paying for my own kit. When I was 16, I paid for my own blazer in my first Test match; we didn't get match fees until two years ago. It's come a long way. I feel incredibly lucky to have been part of this journey for the last 18 years."