Cricket - Edwards' warning on playing men's game

England women's cricket captain Charlotte Edwards has warned her team-mates of the dangers of taking part in the men's game.

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Wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor has already held talks with the aim of playing for Sussex second XI this summer. But while Edwards, whose team take on Australia in one Test, three one-day internationals and three Twenty20s this summer, applauds the higher profile women's cricket has achieved in recent years she believes mixing it with the men could be a step too far.

"I'm all for the girls pushing themselves outside their comfort zone but we have to be careful we are not training for men's cricket. From a captain and England perspective we want them training for women's cricket. They are slightly different games," Edwards said.

"I would be slightly nervous of us wanting to play too much men's cricket. We are international sports people and we want to do well.

"I would have to prepare slightly different from a women's game. That's the downside of wanting to play men's cricket.

"Sarah is a wonderful player and I am sure she can adapt but for us it would be a back-foot game where women's cricket is a front-foot game.

"You would have to train a lot more on the back foot to deal with the pace and the bounce.

"The guys move quicker in the field. For Sarah keeping wicket the ball is coming faster and at different heights."

Edwards, who was speaking in Harrow at the launch of the NatWest CricketForce initiative which is an ECB-inspired project aimed at rejuvenating cricket clubs and getting facilities up to scratch, added: "I am not ruling it out. I was only hearing the other day Steve Harmison (former England fast bowler) saying that if a girl was good enough then she should play. That's brilliant from a guy who has played international cricket and taken a number of wickets.

"But from an England women's point of view we are a stand-alone squad and we have earned a lot of respect over the last two years and I am really pleased where we are at."

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