(Photo by Harry Trump-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)
By Paul Eddison
MARK Robinson achieved the pinnacle of the sport when he led England’s women to World Cup glory on home soil at Lord’s two weeks ago – but what’s the next step after reaching the summit?
Robinson has worked wonders with the women’s team since taking over at the start of 2016, masterminding the dramatic World Cup victory when Anya Shrubsole stunned India with her late spell to earn the trophy.
He has started looking ahead to how England can capitalise on that success – by getting an insight into how the men’s team prepare this week along with batting coach Ali Maiden.
He said: “This opportunity was actually set up quite a while ago, before the World Cup. (Assistant coach) Paul Farbrace and I go way back, so it came about through him.
“It’s always good to get some insight into another team and it’s something (England coach) Trevor Bayliss has done in the past. I know Trevor a bit, but it’s good to see the set-up and how they go about things. You always want to get a different point of view and we can get stuck in and work with the players.
“I already know a few of them from the Lions so that makes it easier. There are always going to be differences with the women’s game, especially with the strength and power, but it will be good to see something different.
“Whether you are 50 like me or in your 30s like Ali, you always want to push yourself and see something new.”
It’s been a whirlwind couple of months for Robinson, with England’s women getting on both the front and back pages of national newspapers after their Lord’s success.
That was the culmination of 18 months’ work for the players, who will now turn their attentions to the Kia Super League, which gets underway next Thursday. And with his players not reporting back for another month, Robinson now has time to prepare for how to continue the momentum of the side.
He added: “It was an amazing experience and everyone I spoke to said the same thing. It was a different type of atmosphere, with 50 per cent of supporters being female. It was special to be a part of, especially for those people who have been following this closely for such a long time.
“For us it was the fruit of 18 months’ planning, since the t20 last year, and it comes at an impor-tant moment for women’s sport.
“With the Lionesses at the Euros, the Women’s Rugby World Cup, it’s an important time for women’s sport. We have the Ashes to look forward to so when the players report back, we’ll review what happened at the World Cup and then set new targets for the team to try to build on it.”