Tom Cant has hailed the trio of international selections from within the Northern Diamonds Academy. 

Erin Thomas and Maddie Ward will tour Sri Lanka later this month with the England Under 19s, while regional team-mate Trudy Johnson has been named on the list of non-travelling reserves.

The late March to early April tour will see England play T20 and 50-over matches against their hosts and Australia Under 19s, who are also touring the sub-continent.

“Congratulations to all the girls across the regions selected for the 19s,” said Cant, the Diamonds’ senior regional talent manager. 

“From a Diamonds perspective it is great to have two players on the tour, and all three girls involved in the preparation phase have come back with positives and work-ons from the camps.”

On international Women’s Day, Cant spoke about all the development of all three players, individually.

Erin Thomas

Picture by Simon Wilkinson/ Erin Thomas with regional talent manager Mark Harrison (l) and senior regional talent manager Tom Cant.

On batter Thomas, he said: “Erin has taken it all in her stride, as she did last year – her first on the Academy. 

“She offers a big point of difference with her ball striking capabilities.

“Playing out in Sri Lanka will be another challenge for her, adapting to different pitches and conditions, and it will be exciting to see how she goes. 

“Pre Sri-Lanka she is going to South Africa with Yorkshire Cricket College, so she would be well prepped.”

Maddie Ward

Picture by Barrington Coombs – ECB via Getty Images. Maddie Ward was involved at the inaugural Under 19s World Cup in South Africa early last year.

Wicketkeeper-batter Ward is a new winter arrival from Blaze, and Cant said: “Maddie has had a great winter, one she thought she may not have had at one stage. But it has been really pleasing to help support her settle in at a new region, see her confidence grow.

“Although not originally named in the squad, she has taken her opportunity. 

“Her ability behind the stumps is clear for everyone to see. She has worked hard on her batting, and she has an exciting few months ahead.”

All-rounder Johnson will not travel to Sri Lanka with the 15-player squad, but she is on list of five reserves who will be ready to step in should injury or unavailability arise.

Trudy Johnson

Picture by Alex Whitehead/ All-rounder Trudy Johnson will aim to be part of the England Under 19s squad for next January’s World Cup in Malaysia.

“Trudy has been part of the preparation phase,” said Cant. 

“She has time on her side, being eligible for the 19s for the next two years. 

“She will learn a lot from the process, and although there will be some initial disappointment. the learnings and feedback she can take forward will put her in a good position to push towards the Under 19s World Cup in early 2025.”

The exact dates for the tour, along with fixtures, are yet to be finalised by the ECB.

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