All-rounder Natalie Sciver is relishing being part of England’s new-look set-up after making her senior bow in the NatWest Women’s one-day international series victory over Pakistan.
The 20-year-old was one of three uncapped players, along with Natasha Farrant and Lauren Winfield, called into the 15-player squad for the two contests at Louth and Loughborough this week and Sciver made her mark as England recorded convincing victories in both games.
It meant newly-appointed head of England women’s performance Paul Shaw began his reign in victorious fashion and Sciver is delighted to be a part of it after being such a prominent member of the academy squad.
“It was very exciting to finally get a chance to be part of the team after having 18 months or so of hard work. It paid off,” Sciver told ecb.co.uk.
After admitting to understandable apprehension prior to the series opener in Louth, which England won by 111 runs, the Surrey seamer believes she is finally starting to feel at home in the senior ranks.
And Sciver made sure she made the most of her chance, starring in yesterday’s six-wicket victory over Pakistan when she claimed three dismissals within the space of six runs.
“My first game was very nerve-wracking,” she concedes.
“But (after the) second game now I feel a bit more a part of the team and it was good to contribute to a team win.
“For me it was just to take every opportunity I had and if I was handed the ball or given the chance to bat - make the most of it.”
While England’s team may have a few new faces in it, they are still lead by Charlotte Edwards, who continues to rewrite the record books after amassing her 40th one-day international half-century in yesterday’s success.
Sciver admits the chance to work alongside the more experienced members of the side like Edwards has been invaluable in her transition to the team.
“They’re massively important,” she added.
“They’re great to learn from, from their experience, and they’re such good role models in the team to follow.”
Pakistan get their chance at revenge in tomorrow’s two Twenty20 internationals at Loughborough, where Sciver admits she “feels very at home” having studied there.
Sciver said: “We’re expecting good games, more intense from both teams.
“I think Twenty20 is a bit more exciting, a bit more on the go all the time, so I look forward to those games.”
After tomorrow the women, like their male counterparts, will turn their attention to the old enemy Australia. The winner of the Ashes will be determined over a Test, three one-day internationals and a trio of T20 games in an action-packed August.
Having had a taste of victory this week, Sciver is hoping to be involved in cricket’s most intense rivalry.
“Everyone loves a game against Australia so I’m really looking forward to it,” she noted.