Friday Headlines

the weekly newsletter from EHS

Sporting Spotlight – Cricket

26 June 2020

Despite lockdown restrictions, our cricketers have still been busy training.  Here is an overview of three of our cricketers, how they got involved in the sport and what their training is looking like.  We look forward to watching them progress with their cricket in the future.
Mrs Parsons

Tea Ilic – Year 9
How did you first get involved in cricket?

I first got into cricket when a leaflet was posted through the door from my local cricket club, asking for girls to join. I was 10 years old when it came through the door and was not quite sure what cricket was. I soon discovered a passion for the game and began to play in the team. 
What does your player pathway look like in cricket?
My performances at my club led me to be nominated for the Warwickshire County trials, I have now played for Warwickshire at U11, U13 and now U15. 
What cricket training do you do?
Before lockdown, I was training in a winter programme with Warwickshire preparing for my summer trials but that did not happen. Club training nights are usually on a Friday with two games a week and a few more with county involved. I am now beginning to start back training twice a week, which I am enjoying after the long break. But, over lockdown it has been quite difficult to carry on playing cricket without my team, but the garden has been a great space to keep up batting, bowling and fielding. 
Any tips for budding cricketers?
A few tips for people starting cricket is to have a go in the garden with any equipment that you have from tennis ball to a cricket bat anything can help.

Amelia Slater – Year 9
How did you first get involved in cricket?

I started playing cricket when I was about 9 years old, but I didn’t start to take it seriously until I was around 12, this was when I decided to trial for Warwickshire and I got in. I started playing cricket because one of my friends played at my local club and I wanted to see what it was about.  I play for Four Oaks Saints and also Warwickshire county U15s, I was also the captain of my Warwickshire team last season.  
What cricket training do you do?
During the summer, I train twice a week with matches on top of that, so I will normally play 4-5 times per week.  During lockdown I tried to keep my fitness up by doing home workouts and following the strength and conditioning programme set for us by Warwickshire.  I also did drills in my garden and borrowed a CrazyCatch from my teammate to practise my catching.  I spent 2 hours each day practising my catching and I feel that this really helped me to stay in form.  
Any tips for budding cricketers?
My top tips for budding players would be to practise as much as you can because the more often you play the better you will get.  I would also say to watch lots of cricket and see how professional players play.  There are lots of good masterclasses on YouTube from greats of the game and watching them has really improved my technique.  
I love cricket and I think it is a great sport, it encourages resilience, teamwork and most of all it very fun.  During my time as captain of my Warwickshire team I also learnt leadership skills, how to help members of the team when there were any issues and motivational skills, so that I was able to encourage every girl on the team to play as well as she could.  I would encourage every girl to get involved in cricket and I am sure that you will love it as much as I do.

Isabel Curry – Year 8
How did you first get involved in cricket?

It all started in year 1 (when I was 6 years old) , when me and my best friend joined the local cricket club (Four Oaks Saints) for fun, not knowing that it would take me to where I am today.
By the end of year 3, I had mastered soft ball cricket and moved onto hard ball cricket. This was a big step to achieve, but I did it! At the time I was stronger with my batting than my bowling, because I had practised hours a day to try and improve my technique.
Can you talk us through your player pathway in cricket?
Every year, the club would sign all the players and put us forward for the Warwickshire trials, if we were good enough. We didn’t have much hope at the trials, as the other girls were all older than us. But, the next day I got an email saying they would like to see me bat in a game scenario. I went and I was terrified. I didn’t know anyone, and every single player was at least 1 year older than me. Luckily, they loved my batting technique and were amused that however fast the older girls were bowling, nobody could get me out. Days later I got the exciting news that I made it into the country 1st team. Knowing that nobody in my club except me had got in, was a huge achievement and I was very proud.
A year went by and I became captain of the Warwickshire team. That year, the friends from my club also got into the county team, making me very excited. By year 7, I was having to move up into an age group two years above me, meaning I would be the youngest in my team. In the winter, I got into the 2nd team ( the development squad), along side many members at my club. But then for the summer trials, after persistent hard work and dedication to practise, I was chosen for the Performance Squad ( the 1st team). Ironically it was my spin bowling, and not my batting that Warwickshire praised me for!
When I found out the news, I was amazed. Knowing that no one in my club had got into the Performance Team ( not even the girls in the year above), astonished me. It was the best summer of my cricket life. I got to experience the hardest level of cricket I had ever faced, all over the country.
In October 2019, I received the Player of the Year trophy from my club in the award ceremony, for my all round ability of cricket and for the love of the sport. Out of over 30 games last season I got many wickets with my bowling. No one could work out my bowling, because I can do every kind of style: these include leg spin, off spin or seam bowling.
What cricket training do you do?
For the winter this year I once again managed to get into the 1st team Performance Squad. I was the oldest in my age group and many of my friends from my club were able to join me. Unfortunately due to coronavirus, we haven’t had the summer trials this year and there has been no competitive games for Warwickshire or my club.
So whilst in quarantine I really wanted to keep my standards on point, and in order to do this I practised in my garden on any possible day of good weather and since the lockdown has eased I have been going to the club nets. I have been able to have coaching sessions with specialist coaches in the past weeks.
If the weather is not good I try and do my conditioning exercises indoors or I will practise my batting technique in the hall way at home. I am looking forward to what the rest of the season holds for me and my team mates, even if it means just half a season of cricket, it will be fantastic!


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