Northern Diamonds Academy duo Erin Thomas and Maddie Ward have been selected for an England Under 19s tour of Sri Lanka later this month, where they will play 50-over and T20 cricket.

Thomas and Ward are part of the 15-player squad in which seven of the eight regions are represented, while fellow Diamond Trudy Johnson’s name is part of a list of non-travelling reserves.

The selections indicate significant strength in depth across the Diamonds’ programme. 

The tour, for which dates and venues are yet to be confirmed, will take place between late March and early April and will also see Australia as well as Sri Lanka take part.

It will form part of the preparations for next January’s second Under 19s T20 World Cup in Malaysia.

Erin Thomas

Picture by Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com. Erin Thomas is presented with her performance of the year award by Academy head Tom Cant (r) and fellow coach Mark Harrison. 

Thomas caught the eye last July at the Regional Academy Festival at Millfield School in Taunton, where she was the event’s leading run-scorer with 139 runs.

Wicketkeeper-batter Ward, meanwhile, joined the Diamonds from Blaze this winter after a successful trial.

She was part of the England Under 19s squad who reached the final of the 2023 Under 19s T20 World Cup in South Africa and in December helped an England National Counties Cricket Association XI win the T10 European Championship title in Spain.

England Under 19s coach Chris Guest said: “We are all looking forward to our forthcoming series in Sri Lanka.

“We have selected a good mix of those who have represented this age-group before and those who are new. It’s a really exciting squad who are relishing the chance to compete against quality opposition.

Maddie Ward

Picture by Justine Brunnschweiler/NCCA. Maddie Ward and England celebrate December’s T10 European Championship success.

“To have the opportunity to play T20 and 50-over cricket is really important.

“It’s a chance for the players to be exposed to and experience different conditions and will present excellent learning opportunities. These will help support the development of the players within their regions and hopefully one day to play for the senior team.”

England Women Under 19s squad: Tilly Corteen-Coleman (South East Stars), Jodi Grewcock (Sunrisers), Josie Groves (The Blaze), Katie Jones (Western Storm), Charlotte Lambert (South East Stars), Ava Lee (Southern Vipers), Abigale Norgrove (Southern Vipers), Charis Pavely (Central Sparks), Davina Perrin Central Sparks, Sophia Smale (Western Storm), Alexa Stonehouse (South East Stars), Amuruthaa Surenkumar (Sunrisers), Mary Taylor (Southern Vipers), Erin Thomas (Northern Diamonds), Maddie Ward (Northern Diamonds).

The following players have been confirmed as non-travelling reserves from the original player preparation group: Meg Austin (Central Sparks), Summer Carrington (Thunder), Lola Harris (Western Storm), Trudy Johnson (Northern Diamonds), Charlotte Stubbs (South East Stars).

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