Clear pathway for young stars
Twenty-four of the country's most promising young female players took their first steps to becoming England cricketers at the recent Junior Super 2s.
The youngsters, who were recommended by their counties after good performances in age-group cricket, spent three days at Brighton College where their time was split between matches and educational workshops.
"I was delighted with how it went," said Head of Women's Cricket, Clare Connor.
"It's the first stage of the performance pathway for girls. We saw some really talented young players and the coaches felt the standard was higher than last year.
"It's still a new part of our programme and we need to continue to work with counties to make sure we get the right players."
The Junior Super 2s, which is for under-15s, has been in existence since 2009 and relies on talent identification by counties. This year, the 24 players were divided into two equal teams for two Twenty20 matches and one 40-over game.
"We saw some really positive cricket," added Connor. "There is certainly plenty of potential so we will monitor the players now they are back with their counties. Some of them, perhaps three or four, will progress to the Junior Super 4s in August."
Sandwiched in the middle of the camp was a day of workshops delivered by the England women's support staff.
Physio Rachel Evans discussed injury prevention, Ian Crump led a talk on strength and conditioning whilst newly appointed England Women's Academy Head Coach Lisa Keightley gave an insight into decision making and tactics. There was a further workshop on nutrition.
"We want to raise their awareness around the broader aspects of a cricket education," said Connor. "If they are open to learning then they can enhance their potential by taking on new information. Several of them are playing other sports to a high level, so from a cricketing point of view it's important we educate and support them to help them progress as far as they can in our sport."