By Rob Barnett
Jodie Dibble believes her switch from bowling left-arm seam to spin has been justified with her selection in England Women’s World Twenty20 squad.
The 19-year-old reverted to her schoolgirl bowling style and has been rewarded with her first senior international call-up, like fellow tweaker Rebecca Grundy.
The Women’s World T20, which is being held in Bangladesh alongside the men’s tournament, will offer spinners the chance to excel and Dibble is one of several at captain Charlotte Edwards’ disposal.
Dibble has significant experience of bowling in the sub-continent, chiefly through being a regular member of the England Women’s Academy. Indeed, she played in every match of February’s successful tour to Sri Lanka.
“I was originally picked in the England academy as a left-arm seamer,” the former Taunton School pupil and younger sister of Somerset seamer Adam Dibble told ecb.co.uk.
“I had a few injury problems in the past. I used to bowl a lot of left-arm spin for my school, so it was something that I really enjoyed and it was something that I ended up choosing as a long-term thing, rather than the seam.
“So I’m really glad that I went with that option now that I’ve had my call-up.”
Not only has the academy given Dibble, who says she is a “big sun-lover”, the chance to familiarise herself with sub-continental conditions, it has prepared her for life on tour with England.
“We’re really lucky that we’ve got an England academy, which I’ve been part of for a few years now, and they’re quite similar in the way that they’re run and stuff, so it’s quite comfortable to come into this environment, which is really good,” she said.
“It’s been fantastic. I’m really lucky that I’ve been involved in the academy. I’ve been to Sri Lanka twice now and to India once, and the conditions are so similar out here in Bangladesh.
“It’s really good. I’ve been out playing in the heat quite a lot. Things that you do off the pitch helps. You learn from that and take it forward. Things like hydration and being out here in the heat, you need that experience to be able to perform.”
Dibble hopes to play in the coming week’s warm-up matches with Pakistan and New Zealand at Dhaka, which precede England’s tournament opener versus West Indies in Sylhet - the venue for all four of their group games.
“It’s something that I’ve dreamed of since I was a kid, so to be out and to potentially have that chance to make my debut is something that I’m really looking forward to,” she enthused after England’s second training session since arriving in Bangladesh on Thursday.
Dibble, along with Heather Knight, is one of two Devonians in the World T20 party. With fellow squad members Anya Shrubsole and Fran Wilson playing for Somerset, more than a quarter of the tourists have a south-west connection.
“There’s now four south-west people in this squad so we’re really excited that cricket’s growing in that part of the country. (It’s) good to have some role-models down there,” added Dibble, who unlike Berkshire’s Knight represents Devon.