Charlotte Edwards believes England are firm favourites to beat South Africa in Tuesday’s Women’s World Cup semi-final.
Former captain Edwards, who retired from internationals last year, is steeped in the cut and thrust of tournament cricket, winning the World Cup and World T20 double in 2009.
Now she is supporting the team from the sidelines as her successor Heather Knight aims to clinch their long-held dream of a sold-out Lord’s World Cup final.
Edwards, who helped Chance to Shine break a Guinness World Record by giving a cricket lesson at Lord’s to 580 children on Monday, beating the mark of 488 set by Ashes rivals and fellow semi-finalists Australia, thinks England are in a strong position.
“England definitely go in as favourites,” Edwards said. “If they play anywhere near to their potential they should win.
“But they will be wary of South Africa too because they have some of the best bowlers in the world and an explosive batting line-up.
“I’m a firm believer that the semis are the game to play in, due to what’s at stake, and that is especially so for England,” she added.
“They’re at home and there’s a Lord’s final on offer, that’s what dreams are made of.”
The hosts’ progress to the last four has largely been built around some major individual contributions with the bat including centuries from Nat Sciver (twice), Knight, Sarah Taylor and Tammy Beaumont.
The new ball pairing of Katherine Brunt and Anya Shrubsole have been quieter thus far, though Edwards does not expect that to remain the case for long.
“I hope their moment is still to come,” she said.
“They’ve been getting better with each game and it feels like they’re going to have a game soon where they blow away the top order.
“Katherine and Anya are match-winners and I expect them to come to the fore.”