When Beth Langston was confirmed on a retainer contract for the Northern Diamonds in early July, director of cricket James Carr spoke of her ability to set the tone with the new ball.
A fast bowler with England experience, Langston has played county cricket for both home county Essex and, in recent years, Yorkshire.
She is closing in on 100 wickets for both county sides, with her career littered with examples of how she has set the tone in ideal fashion.
Let’s look at her four summers in Yorkshire colours, starting in 2016 (she didn’t play in 2020 as Coronavirus wreaked havoc with the schedule).
In her third match, against Middlesex in August 2016, she claimed 2-17 from seven overs in a one-day Cup clash. The White Rose went on to win.
In May 2018, she claimed 4-26 from 10 overs in another one-day Cup clash with Somerset. Yorkshire won.
In May 2019, she claimed a stunning 5-8 from 10 overs in another one-day Cup match against Warwickshire. Yorkshire won.
A week later, 3-32 from 10 against Lancashire. Yorkshire won.
And finally, in June 2019, 3-19 from four overs in a T20 fixture against Worcestershire. The result? Yes, you guessed it, Langston’s five best personal displays for the White Rose have all led to victories.
Not all of those wickets came with the new ball. Plenty came at the death, highlighting the 28-year-old’s versatility with ball in hand.
Born in Harold Wood, Essex, Langston’s cricket career was fostered at Upminster Cricket Club in East London, where her trio of older brothers and parents were heavily involved either side of the boundary rope.
An Essex women’s senior debut came in 2009 at the age of 16, before she graduated through to the England Academy and then the senior side.
To date, she has played six times for her country – four times in one-day internationals and twice in T20s, taking three wickets.
Her pair of T20 appearances came within the space of three days against the West Indies in Barbados in October 2013 before playing a quartet of ODIs on tour in Sri Lanka three years later.
The gap between T20 and ODI appearances owes partly to injury, including a stress fracture of her back.
She has not played a home international, but was a squad member when England gloriously won the one-day World Cup on home soil in the 2017, beating India in front of a packed house at Lord’s for the final.
The previous winter had been spent playing for New Zealand side Otago Sparks.
She began the Kia Super League T20 competition in 2016 with two years in a Loughborough Lightning shirt before swapping to the Yorkshire Diamonds, claiming nine wickets for each side.
In this summer’s Rachel Heyhoe Flint Trophy with the Northern Diamonds, she was the side’s leading wicket-taker with 12 from seven games as they reached the final.
She was the joint third leading wicket-taker in the competition and proved James Carr’s comments about tone setting 100 percent correct.
Here’s to more where that came from next summer and beyond in royal blue.