The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) today announced the winter training squads at each level of the England women’s cricket pathway: the England Women’s Performance Squad (EWPS), England Women’s Academy (EWA) and England Women’s Development Programme Under-19 and Under-15 (EWDP U19 and U15).
In the last six months, three players have made the transition to the EWPS from the EWA. Sonia Odedra (Nottinghamshire), Rebecca Grundy (Warwickshire) and Jodie Dibble (Devon) all graduated from the EWA to earn their first senior international caps – Odedra in the Kia Women’s Test match against India in August, and Grundy and Dibble during the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 in Bangladesh in March. Off the back of a successful summer Sonia Odedra has been formally added to the EWPS.
With some members of the EWPS playing in Australia for the first half of the winter, Paul Shaw and the selectors will also give opportunities to targeted EWA players to train with the EWPS prior to Christmas.
The EWA, EWDP U19 and EWDP U15 squads will attend a series of training camps at the National Cricket Performance Centre (NCPC) in Loughborough throughout the winter, which will be overseen by head coaches, Lisa Keightley (EWA), Salliann Briggs (EWDP U19), and Caroline Foster (née Atkins, EWDP U15).
Speaking about the winter training programmes, ECB Head of England Women’s Cricket, Clare Connor said: “The ground-breaking decision by the ECB Board to award 18 contracts to England women’s players was clearly significant for those individuals involved. However it also signalled the dawning of a fully professional era giving players on the England women’s pathway a very exciting goal to which they can aspire and work towards.
“The scope of opportunities now available to talented young female cricketers is greater than ever, and the winter training programmes that will be delivered over the next six months for the EWPS, EWA, EWDP U19 and EWDP U15 squads are pioneering in the global women’s game. It is this structure that will allow players to seamlessly move through the pathway and give them every chance of performing when they get their chance in an England shirt.
“This summer the EWA demonstrated the scope of the talent pool now present in the women’s game when they drew a two-day match and won a 50-over encounter against the touring Indian women’s team. They backed this up with a 1-1 scoreline in a T20 series against South Africa women. It is performances like this that illustrate the strong position that England women’s cricket is currently enjoying.”
England women will next be in action in February 2015 when they will travel to New Zealand to play a five match One-Day International series and three match International Twenty20 series against the White Ferns. The England women’s touring party for this tour will be announced in the New Year.