This is entirely typical of Charlotte Edwards. She begins on a modest, almost apologetic, note. “I’ve not really done much sight-seeing”. Well, that’s understandable. The England cricket captain is in Perth, Australia after all, leading a young Western Australia women’s team, after the most successful year of her international career in which she was hailed as one of the hugely-prestigious Wisden Players of the Year and led the England team to back-to-back Ashes victories. She is probably too busy with batting practice to gaze out on a sun-baked sea.
“But I’ve been very fortunate to meet the Rolling Stones."
She drops it into the conversation like the gentlest of googlies landing at a batswoman’s feet.
Edwards is nominated for the BT Sport Action Woman of the Year Award
“They were due to play in Perth and Charlie Watts came down to the WACA (the home of cricket in Western Australia) because he wanted to go on the tour of the ground. I was asked to go with him and consequently I was invited to go to the Stones concert as a VIP, where I met Mick Jagger back stage. I’ve got signed drumsticks and everything.
“That’s been the highlight of my trip so far - me becoming a Rolling Stones groupie.”
Given that Jagger is a monumental cricket fan, the most beguiling thing about their meeting is that he will have been equally star-struck. “Yeah, they knew all about me and the England women’s team. It was probably one of the most surreal nights I’ve ever experienced - going into Mick Jagger’s dressing room and just talking cricket with him.
Some members of the team are too young to know who the Rolling Stones are!"
“I put it on Twitter but I think some members of the England women’s team are too young to know who the Rolling Stones are!”
To add intrigue to the Ashes series against Australia next summer in England, there may be one Rolling Stone or more in the crowd. “I think Charlie Watts will come and watch one of our games. I stayed in touch with his bodyguards afterwards because Suzie Bates, the captain of the New Zealand cricket team, wanted tickets for their gig over there. You’ve got to keep these contacts up, haven’t you?”
Edwards, who is one of the BT Sport Action Woman of the Year contenders, has been in Australia for nearly two months and has utterly confounded fears that a winter of competition would be too exhausting following her action-packed summer. “I’ve found my Twinings tea bags and my tomato ketchup, so I’m not missing anything except my little niece and, of course, the England team.
“But I think what I’m doing here is probably going to benefit me more in the longer run. Mentally I feel as fresh as I ever have, physically I’m as strong and fit as I’ve ever been. I’ve had lots of time to work on my fitness, whereas in England I’m rushed to do it. I feel really relaxed. Apart from breaking my toe in the first game, which was disappointing, I’ve absolutely loved it.