Katie Levick has paid tribute to a host of trailblazing former Yorkshire women’s players who are returning to Headingley tomorrow to watch the Northern Diamonds in action.

Players such as Helen Plimmer, Sue Metcalfe, Jane Powell – the county’s current president – Laura Spragg and Katherine Sciver-Brunt OBE will all be at HQ for the T20 double header as part of Yorkshire’s ongoing celebration of women’s sport.

Leg-spinner Levick will get to rub shoulders with former team-mates and some of her heroes whilst trying to help the Diamonds to their second win in the Charlotte Edwards Cup.

They face Western Storm at 11am in their penultimate T20 fixture as a region before Yorkshire’s men take on Leicestershire in the afternoon Vitality Blast fixture. 

“I think they’re a massive part of the club’s history,” said leg-spinner Levick, a Yorkshire legend herself.

“Especially for players like Hollie (Armitage), Loz (Winfield-Hill) and myself – we all grew up in that system and we owe pretty much our careers to those women that trail-blazed.

Katie Levick

Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com. Katie Levick surrounded by her Northern Diamonds team-mates. 

“They did it all for amateur status and not for remuneration, and we get to live the rewards now being professional cricketers. So, it’s nice that they can come along and see what piece in history they are a part of.”

Levick perhaps doesn’t have the titles behind her that someone such as batter Plimmer does. She was part of six County Championship title successes with Yorkshire between 1986 and 1997. She also won the World Cup with England in 1993.

Neither does she have the international achievements that Sciver-Brunt has. She was awarded an OBE in the King’s Birthday Honours list only last night.

But Levick, 32 and a county champion herself, stands above all current and former Yorkshire players with 189 wickets whilst wearing the white rose, for whom she debuted in 2008. 

In fact, no other bowler in history – for any team – has taken more county wickets than she has.

And that’s not counting her exploits over the last four years with the Northern Diamonds, which include a Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy title in 2022.

Katherine SB

Picture by Jan Kruger. ICC via Getty Images. Katherine Sciver-Brunt OBE celebrates an England with wife Nat. Katherine will be at Headingley tomorrow to watch the Diamonds. 

“I grew up in a glory age of Yorkshire women’s cricket,” continued the Sheffield ace. 

“Katherine Sciver-Brunt, Laura Spragg were England players when I joined the team. Dani Hazell, who I see every day, as well. They were all legends of the game.

“They’re just great humans, and they made me really love playing for Yorkshire. 

“They really instilled that Yorkshire pride and what it means to be a Yorkshire player. 

“That’s never really left me even when we’ve become Yorkshire Diamonds and Northern Diamonds. 

“I’ve always been a really proud Yorkshire player – and it’s because of those women that I started playing with.”

Katie Levick

Picture by John Clifton/SWpix.com. Katie Levick on Yorkshire duty in 2016. 

Asked to sum up that Yorkshire pride, Levick said: “It’s hard to define for anyone that’s not grown up in Yorkshire, but it’s just about being proud of wearing that white rose. 

“I don’t think many counties have the history that Yorkshire has. 

“We’re really proud to be just a name amongst a long list of brilliant players.

“It’s about having a bit of Northern grit about you, it’s about battling for your mates and it’s about having a good time. And that’s something I’d like to just continue in my career.”

Levick also spoke about her heroes growing up.

She continued: “The funny thing is when I started playing cricket, there wasn’t any visibility of women’s cricket. So it wasn’t easy to see what I could be. 

Helen Plimmer

Picture by YCCC. Ex-Yorkshire and England star Helen Plimmer has been hailed as a trailblazer by Katie Levick. 

“We say now, ‘You can’t be it if you can’t see it’. And we couldn’t when I grew up.

“I grew up watching men’s cricket – Darren Gough and that sort of era, Michael Vaughan, Andrew Gale. Those are who I grew up watching, and Shane Warne at Hampshire, where we’ve just been with the Diamonds.

“The first taste of women’s cricket I ever got was playing it. There were some big names, but I’d never seen them play.

“Laura Spragg sticks in the mind.

“She was an England player, and she was the person who picked me at my first Yorkshire trial. 

“And when I played in the first team with her, that was a real big moment that me and my family enjoyed. 

Laura Spragg

Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com. Laura Spragg, who had a big influence on Katie Levick’s early career. 

“But, like I said, it shows how far the women’s game has come because we didn’t have that visibility.”

Levick herself is now a hero who the rising stars of Yorkshire Cricket look up to.

“I don’t think I’d ever see myself like that,” she said, modestly. 

“But I’ve had the privilege of playing for Yorkshire for a lot of years. In that time, I’ve been fortunate enough to pick up some wickets.

“I always wanted to try and do my best whenever I rolled out for the county. I’ve always said I’ve been immensely proud to represent Yorkshire for as long as I have.

“And it’s something that I’ll look back on with great fondness, and hopefully I’ll be able to show my kids. 

Picture courtesy of Central Sparks. Hollie Armitage, who has played 65 times for Yorkshire women, will captain the Northern Diamonds tomorrow. 

“I see young girls now, and it still blows my mind when they have Levick shirts on or that they even know who I am. I’m just incredibly privileged I came up through an era that didn’t have the visibility or the audience or the recognition that it deserved. 

“Now I get to benefit from it in a lot of parts of my career.”

This fixture, their penultimate in the Charlotte Edwards Cup, may be a dead rubber for the Diamonds in the sense that they can no longer qualify for Finals Day at Derby next Saturday.

But they will still be going all out for victory.

“We love playing at Headingley,” she said. 

“It’s been our home ground for a lot of years now, and it’s something that I never thought I’d get to play at when I was growing up. 

Katie Levick appealing for the Northern Diamonds in 2022

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com. Katie Levick won the 2022 Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy with the Northern Diamonds. She is also a County Championship winner with Yorkshire.

“I never thought I’d play at Headingley, and now to call it my office for the day is a privilege I’ll never take for granted.

“I love it every time I roll out there. The home crowd always creates such a buzz, and I just want to put in a performance in front of those fans.”

The Diamonds have lost seven of their eight CEC fixtures so far, but nearly turned over the champions Southern Vipers yesterday, who they had at 67-5 chasing 146.

“The game probably summed up our season,” added Levick, who has struck 10 times in this competition.

“On paper, it looks like it’s been a disaster. But, actually, if you look at the results, it’s been just fractions and fine margins and little moments in the games that could have swung our way and haven’t. I don’t think we’ve necessarily performed badly as a team throughout this competition. But we’ve got a couple of games left to finish on a high and then lead us into the 50-overs.”

Storm are also out of contention having also only won one of their eight matches so far.

Related News

View all news

Heath reflects on rainy Blaze clash

Bess Heath was left a frustrated figure after Northern Diamonds' chances of winning a sixth successive Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy fixture were ruined by the weather in Lincolnshire.

Read more
Bess Heath

Report: The Blaze v Northern Diamonds, Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy

A thrilling knock of 61 by Bess Heath was the highlight of a frustrating day at Lincoln's Lindum Cricket Club as bad weather forced the abandonment of Northern Diamonds' Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy clash with The Blaze. 

Read more
Erin Burns

Preview: Blaze v Diamonds, Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy

Erin Burns is hoping the Northern Diamonds give her the odd sleepless night in September - by going on to win the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy title.

Read more
An image of Lauren Winfield-Hill and Adil Rashid, with the Yorkshire logo and Northern Diamonds logo in the middle

Sign up to our newsletter

For all the latest news, previews, ticket, membership and Premium Experiences information and more exciting content from Yorkshire Cricket and the Northern Diamonds straight to your inbox, subscribe now.

To view our privacy policy, click here.