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Talented spinner picked for England winter training

October 24th, 2019

A talented 14-year-old cricketer, who enjoyed a golden summer with the ball, will be training under the England Women’s Academy coaches this winter.

All-rounder Sophia, a student at Monmouth School for Girls, has been selected for the England Spin Bowling Group based at Loughborough.

A top-order batter and left-arm spinner, Sophia has been playing cricket since the age of five and this is a major step towards her ambition of playing for England Women.

“Playing cricket for England has been an ambition all my life,” said Sophia, a Year 10 student, who also represents Wales at hockey.

“I have a very positive mental attitude and I am moving closer to fulfilling my dream of playing for England and I will keep working hard on all aspects of my game.

“My 18-year-old brother, Will, is my role model. He has been representing Ireland Under-19s and will be playing in Sydney over the winter as part of the International Cricket Programme.”

Sophia, who plays girls’ cricket for Wales Under-15s and under-17s, was a key member of Newport Cricket Club under-15 boys’ cup-winning team. She has also represented Gwent Young Cricketers.

After a hugely successful season with Wales and the South West Regional Development Centre (RDC), Sophia was initially picked for the South West team at the RDC girls’ festival in Shrewsbury.

She was among 120 girls from across the country who played in a mini festival under the watchful eye of the England scouts.

Sophia shone and was then selected for the ECB School Games at Loughborough, involving the best 39 girls from across England and Wales.

The Monmouth student had an excellent three days, bowling some terrific overs against the best young female batters in challenging match situations.

On the back of her accomplished bowling performances, Sophia was invited by the Head Coach of the England Women’s Academy to play in a two-day game, again at Loughborough, involving the best 24 girls nationally.

It was a fantastic experience for Sophia, who impressed with her bowling, and she has now been picked, by academy Spin Bowling coach Gareth Breese, in the England Spin Bowling Group.

“I love playing cricket under pressure and bowling in challenging and testing situations,” said Sophia, who has been playing for Wales since the age of eight.

“One of my proudest moments of the summer was when I came on to bowl in the final of the School Games and, with the opposition batters scoring freely, I managed to take 3-15 and it changed the game.”

Sophia was first introduced to cricket by her grandfather, Malcolm Price, a qualified coach and a stalwart of Newport Cricket Club and junior cricket throughout Wales.

“Hopefully, I can play for England and show that girls can succeed in cricket,” she said.

“The women’s game is improving year on year with the leading players on central contracts and it’s wonderful to see the female players are getting the same opportunities as the men.

“The International Cricket Council has just unveiled plans for the Under-19 Women’s World Cup in Bangladesh in 2021. That competition takes place in two years’ time and it’s definitely something in which I hope to be involved.”

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