Arran Brindle: ICC Women's Cricket World Cup will be toughest yet
ARRAN Brindle expects to be tested to the full at the toughest ICC Women's Cricket World Cup yet.
As revealed last week, the Louth CC all-rounder has jetted out to India as part of England's 15-strong squad for the 50-over competition.
Following warm-up matches against Pakistan and New Zealand, Charlotte Edwards' team open their campaign against Sri Lanka on Saturday, February 2.
Games against the hosts India (February 4) and West Indies (February 6) follow before the best three sides from Group B join them in the Super Sixes phase.
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Captain Edwards says victory on the sub-continent would be her side's "greatest achievement", and Brindle agrees that every game will be a test for the defending champions.
"There are eight teams competing and if they weren't in the top four of the last World Cup they've had to qualify for this one," the 31-year-old told the Telegraph.
"We've gone away from having minnows in the competition – the likes of Pakistan and Sri Lanka play full-time cricket now, seven days a week.
"We have pretty good systems in place but we don't play to that extent, and the difference that is making to their game is been huge.
"We saw Pakistan beat India in the World Twenty20, which was the first time that had ever happened.
"We know that every team has got world-class players in there. It's a case of executing a plan to nullify them as much as possible. If we perform to our capability we should do pretty well."
England travelled to India with eight of their World Cup-winning squad of 2009, supplemented by six players experiencing their first world 50-over competition.
They have also been bolstered by the return of Brindle, who was taking a break from international cricket during the team's triumph in Australia four years ago.
"We have got a good balance of age, but even the youngsters have got a large amount of experience, whether that's in the sub-continent or internationals," she added.
"Once you start getting that, you become a strong unit because of knowing how to win in a lot of situations.
"That breeds a lot of trust – everyone knows their role and if we can fulfil them we will perform really well."
ENGLAND'S quest for ICC Women's Cricket World Cup glory will be boosted once again by Arran Brindle's four-year-old son Harry.
Louth CC all-rounder Brindle is part of the defending champions' squad for the competition in India, which begins against Sri Lanka a week on Saturday.
And after two weeks of acclimatisation on the sub-continent, England's 15-strong line-up will be joined by a familiar face.
During their charge to October's World Twenty20 final, little Harry accompanied the team throughout the tournament in Sri Lanka.
The youngster proved a welcome distraction for the team ahead of their matches, and will be 'part of the squad' again.
"I've been very fortunate that my family have been able to come out for periods of most tours I've been on, and likewise for this one," Brindle told the Telegraph.
"I'll do all the prep phase and pretty much start the competition before they come out. So I'll find my feet and see where everything is in terms of hotels and things, and hopefully they can join us when we hit the competition for real.
"They provide a bit of light relief in terms of being able to switch off from cricket at the right time."
Arran, a teacher at Louth's Greenwich House Independent School, is hopeful of providing another live televised link-up with her pupils back in Lincolnshire.
In October, she was joined by captain Charlotte Edwards on screen to answer questions from the schoolchildren.
"Everything's planned," she explained. "If there is the appropriate Wi-Fi available, I will contact the school a few times in the preparation phase.
"Then once we get into the World Cup, I'll be there, but Harry will also be able to speak to his friends from school as well. That's a nice link-up and makes it a bit more real for the children.
"They see their teacher disappearing off on a regular basis, but they obviously know I play for England so it makes it a bit more real and opens their eyes to different cultures as well.
"Last time, when we were in Galle, the Wi-Fi was a bit intermittent because they'd hooked up the internet for the team but hadn't tested it for the number of people who would be using it!
"Fingers-crossed, we can do it without any problems this time around."