Hollie Armitage has revealed how she was quite literally shaking when she found out about her maiden senior England call-up – all because of a mini New Zealand earthquake.
Northern Diamonds captain Armitage has been called up for the first matches of a five-match T20 series against New Zealand late last month, a country where the 26-year-old was playing domestically when she received a message from England coach Jon Lewis.
Armitage has recently finished a successful overseas stint with the Central Hinds team in the women’s Super Smash competition.
She helped the Hinds to a runners-up finish with a 10-match haul of 318 runs at the top of the order – the third best haul across the entire competition.
That form came on the back of an impressive two seasons with the Diamonds and further eye-catching displays at home and abroad with England A.
“Whenever you get your first international call-up, it’s going to be a big shock. But when I received that message from Jon Lewis, I was over the moon,” said the Huddersfield-born star, who is currently holidaying in Australia.
“It’s something I’ve always had ambitions to do, and thankfully I’ve been named. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Recalling the night when she received the news that she would be joining fellow Diamond Bess Heath in England’s senior squad, she said: “I had a voice note from Jon telling me.
“I was in Napier with the Central Hinds, and their girls were telling me that they get mini earthquakes over there.
“They said, ‘We really hope you get to experience one’.
“Anyway, that particular night, I was woken up because I could feel my bed shaking. I was like, ‘What is that?’
“Anyway, being awake, I looked at my phone and saw I had a voice note from Jon. I knew that I wasn’t getting back to sleep without me listening to it.
“So I listened to it at 3.30am.
“I FaceTimed my parents (John and Jane) immediately and sent them the voice note. My mum was at work, and she was worried that something was wrong given what time it was in New Zealand.
“But I struggled to get back to sleep after that.”
Armitage is currently on holiday in Melbourne with former Diamonds team-mate Linsey Smith, who is also in the England squad for the first three T20s on March 19, 22 and 24.
“I’m in Melbourne for another week, then I go to Tasmania for a week,”said the all-rounder. “We then join up as a squad in New Zealand on March 1.”
No doubt, Armitage is excited for what lies ahead, but that’s not her only emotion. There is a definite determination to go and make a positive impression at the highest level.
“I’m really excited, but you still have to take it step by step,” she added.
“I’m in the squad for the first three T20s, and that’s because there are people away at the WPL. I’m happy that I’ve been thought of, and maybe I’m the next batter in line. That’s something which I can be very excited about.
“This is not the final hurdle for me. This is just the start of something.
“I’m just going to go and enjoy it, and if I get the chance to play I will soak it up and try and take it with both hands.
“I’ll then come back to the Diamonds in April ready to enjoy the summer.”