Southern Stars out for Ashes redemption

The Southern Stars are promising to back their attacking brand of cricket in England, believing it provides the best chance to reclaim the women’s Ashes.

Captain Meg Lanning’s Australian women’s team were flying out for England on Monday, aiming to break a 14-year dry spell in that country and remove any doubt over who are the world’s best.

Sustained Ashes success is the one thing missing from the Southern Stars’ wonderful record over the past decade.

They have won two of the last three World Cups and three of the last four World Twenty20 tournaments.

But they’ve failed to stamp their authority over their English counterparts, with just one series win (2011) in six attempts since 2005.

“It’s obviously the one thing we haven’t been able to win and the group is very fired up to really change that,” Lanning said.

“Heading into this series we’ve all got a better understanding of our own games.

“We’re a very attacking-natured team and if we can continue that through all the formats that will give us the best chance of winning.”

Head coach Matthew Mott said hoped selecting a similar squad to that which narrowly lost the last Ashes series, held 18 months ago in Australia, would ensure a burning desire to correct the record.

“It’s 2001 the last time the team’s won in England, so there’s a lot of payback ready,” Mott said.

“The team’s record speaks for itself over the last 10 years but the one thing that has eluded us is the Ashes.

“The girls are really excited about the opportunity coming up.

“We’ve prepared as well as we think we can and obviously those first couple of games are going to be critical.”

Lanning will be assisted by vice-captain Alex Blackwell, with all-rounder Ellyse Perry and emerging strike bowler Holly Ferling among those likely to give England the most grief with bat and ball.

Unlike the men’s series, the women’s Ashes includes all three formats of the game, with one Test bookended by a three-match 50-over series and three Twenty20 matches.

An English win in the Test match last year at the WACA set up their successful Ashes defence but Mott hoped a change of schedule and weighting would work in their favour this year.

“What we want to do is play a brand of cricket that’s attractive and enjoyable,” Mott said.

“Meg and I have spoken a lot about making sure that in the Test match that we play that same brand of cricket. Aggressive, our intent’s good, a game that people want to sit and watch.”

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