Hollie Armitage says bowling more for the Northern Diamonds is a “big aim of mine” as the all-rounder bids to progress both her side’s and her own ambitions. 

The Diamonds captain’s main suit is as a top order batter, and she has shown some impressive form both at home and abroad over the last 12 months in particular, gaining recognition with the England A team and in franchise cricket with the Central Hinds in New Zealand.

But she has also shown in the past just how useful she can be with her leg-spinners.

In the 2022 title-winning Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy campaign, for example, she claimed 11 wickets from seven matches, only two behind Linsey Smith and one behind Katie Levick – both frontline spinners.

However, last year, Armitage only bowled just less than 29 overs all season, taking two wickets, and not at all in the Charlotte Edwards T20 Cup.

But this winter, the 26-year-old has been working hard in training on the other side of her game.

Hollie Armitage

Picture by Paul Harding/Getty Images. Hollie Armitage celebrates the wicket of Emily Windsor in the 2022 RHFT final at Lord’s.

That included work in useful spinning conditions in Oman before Christmas, where the England A squad based themselves for a training camp ahead of a three-match T20 series in India.

“It’s something I’m really trying to push forwards alongside my batting,” said Armitage.  

“That’s still a big aim of mine, and hopefully this season you might see me with the ball a little bit more.

“The more I bowl in training, the more I get the opportunity to bowl in games and the more confident I’ll become.

“Leg-spin is an extremely hard skill, but it’s something that I’m going to keep working hard on to make sure that I can provide overs for the team when needed.

“It’s just about being able to bring myself on at the right time.

“But myself and Dani (Hazell) have had a discussion about my bowling. It’s something that when you’re going into higher environments you want to be a multi-dimensional cricketer.”

Hollie Armitage

Picture by Surjeet Yadav – ECB/via Getty Images. Hollie Armitage on England A duty in India in December.

Armitage is currently in New Zealand playing as an overseas player for the Central Hinds in the Super Smash T20 competition. 

She has only bowled seven overs in eight matches, but she has impressed with the bat at the top of their order and could still be returning to winter training at Headingley with a winner’s medal in her kitbag.

On Friday morning, the Hinds face Northern Brave in the semi-final Eliminator at Seddon Park in Hamilton (5am UK). The winner will face Wellington Blaze in Sunday’s final.

Armitage has posted 219 runs for her side with a top score of 47. Her tally of runs is the fifth best in the competition. 

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