Yorkshire president Dr Jane Powell has hailed the “sustained success” of Katie Levick as the Northern Diamonds leg-spinner closes in on 300 career wickets.
Former England captain Powell, elected into her new role at Headingley last month, is a Sheffield native like linchpin Levick, who is within touching distance of a special personal career milestone.
Levick, 31-years-old, is just three wickets away from taking 300 career wickets in List A and T20 cricket, having debuted for Yorkshire women back in 2008.
It is a mark she could well reach in Saturday’s season-opening Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy clash with Western Storm at Headingley on Saturday (10.30am).
Powell will be in attendance as the Diamonds get their 50-over title defence up and running, and she said of Levick: “What an amazing achievement that will be, and it’s brilliant to see what she’s doing in her career.
“She’s such a character as well. I saw the mini mic thing she did on social media with the Diamonds girls and their cricketing icks. You need people like that in your team and the game.
“But, as far as a cricketer goes, she’s top drawer.”
Levick’s stats across the last 15 years back that suggestion up. In List A cricket, she has taken 159 wickets, including a best of 6-25. In T20 cricket, she has taken 138 wickets with a best of 5-15.
Powell continued: “I think she’s a very under-rated cricketer outside of Yorkshire. She should have got more recognition and representation is what I’m saying.
“She’d certainly be the number one on my team-sheet every single time because of the sustained success she’s had.”
Powell was present at Lord’s last September when the Diamonds beat Southern Vipers to win their first Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy title, describing it as a “special” day.
And she said: “The women’s game is improving year on year and becoming more and more competitive. But I believe we’ve got a good squad and a good crop of youngsters coming through – and there’s absolutely no reason why we can’t go back-to-back.”
Powell captained Yorkshire between 1984 and 1991 and England between 1988 and 1991, including the latter in the 1988 World Cup final at Melbourne.
It means Yorkshire’s new president may well be a very useful sounding board for current Diamonds captain Hollie Armitage or, indeed, any other player or coach within that set-up.
Powell added: “I’m always happy to talk to anyone.
“I’m not one of these ex-players who thinks, they need to do it the way we did.
“I’m well aware that we’re talking a number of years ago when I played, and the game has moved on. However, I’m still fully involved because I still work on the ECB’s Advanced Coaches programme and things like that. I’m quite up to speed on where the game’s going.
“If anyone wants to chat about anything related to cricket – women or men – I’m always open and happy to chat through it.
“However, I won’t be imposing anything on anyone. I’ll suggest how I see it, and it’s then up to them how they take it on.”
Meanwhile, Yorkshire women’s opening two T20 matches of the ECB County Cup competition – against North East Warriors and Cumbria – were both washed out at South Northumberland Cricket Club in Gosforth yesterday.