By Hollie Armitage
England’s women have got a great chance of winning their one-day T20 series in New Zealand next month.
The girls arrived in New Zealand earlier this week ahead of two weeks of quarantine and then a training camp, and I’m sure they will be raring to go after not much action since the end of the last World T20 in March.
With a one-day World Cup in New Zealand around this time next year, this tour is a very important one for England to get used to conditions and to get the ball rolling.
There will be plenty more cricket for them before that World Cup – a full season back home of domestic Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy and Hundred games and their international series.
Given what’s going on, I don’t think anyone would have thought it possible for them to get out to New Zealand at this moment in time. So it is credit to all the hard work that’s gone on behind the scenes.
There are three Yorkshire/Northern Diamonds players on that tour in Katherine Brunt, Nat Sciver and Lauren Winfield-Hill.
I have already spoken a bit about Brunty and Nat in previous blogs this winter, but this marks an important tour for Lauren, my Diamonds opening partner.
Lauren is a magnificent batter, particularly at the top of the order. But she hasn’t been a regular fixture in England’s team of late.
She would definitely be in my first choice team, and hopefully this is the tour she can achieve that.
Her best position is an opener, but the great thing about Lauren is that she’s so versatile and can be very effective batting lower down and later in the innings. She will be happy to bat anywhere.
She’s such a level-headed person who I love batting with.
She reads the game really well, and she seems to know just what to say when we’re batting together to get the best out of me. It might be some useful advice or even a laugh and a joke in between overs.
I have played one league game for Clarence and a friendly for the Tasmanian Tigers women since we last spoke a couple of weeks ago. And, unfortunately, they were both defeats.
I took two wickets for Clarence at the weekend and bowled nicely.
In the Tigers friendly, I didn’t bowl and batted late on for a quick-fire 20. I played in that game more to make up the numbers than anything given availability.
Unless there are injuries or other issues, I’m not expecting to play any competitive games for the Tigers before I head home at the end of March.
But a full winter of just training with them will definitely improve my game.
The more chance you get to be in different environments, I see it as a massive plus. And playing or not, I will still train as hard as ever.
I have also really enjoyed the coaching aspect of the winter – working with some young Tasmanian players and build strong relationships. That can only help me as a player and person.
A major plus of just training with the Tigers has been the development of my bowling, something I have been able to do loads of. At the end of the day, everyone loves a net bowler don’t they!
It’s something I feel really confident with at the moment.
There’s only one other leg-spinner in the Tasmanian squad, and she is a different kind of bowler to me. She slides her leggies on more than I do.
So, because of that, I have been used a lot more to help the girls prepare for bowling more like mine. I have loved it.