Source: ICC

How are the Under 19s faring?

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Let’s try and see how well the ECB’s pathway is working for girls’ and women’s cricket.

Here is the Under 19 squad that took part in their first Under 19 World Cup in Potchefstroom, South Africa last January:

Ellie Anderson, Hannah Baker, Josie Groves, Liberty Heap, Niamh Holland, Ryana MacDonald-Gay, Emma Marlow, Charis Pavely, Davina Perrin, Lizzie Scott, Grace Scrivens (captain), Sophia Smale, Seren Smale, Alexa Stonehouse, Maddie Ward

Of them the following have been playing in the eight regional squads this summer:

Ellie Anderson – Sparks
Hannah Baker – Thunder
Josie Groves – The Blaze
Liberty Heap – Thunder
Niamh Holland – Storm
Ryana MacDonald-Gay – SE Stars
Emma Marlow – Diamonds
Charis Pavely – Sparks
Davina Perrin – Sparks
Lizzie Scott – Diamonds
Grace Scrivens – Sunrisers
Sophia Smale – Storm
Seren Smale – Thunder
Alexa Stonehouse – SE Stars
Maddie Ward –

So Maddie Ward is the only one to miss out on a regional squad, but she’s a wicket-keeper, so her chances were always restricted by the presence of one or two established players in her recruitment area. She’s been a part of Nottinghamshire’s pathway for nine years already, so has a heap of experience.

And several more youngsters have been making a name for themselves around the country since January.

The most recent highlight from the squad was a 4-34 for Sophia Smale’s left-arm slows at Cheltenham on Monday.

RHF matches have taken place at seven test grounds (Ageas Bowl, Edgbaston, Headingley, Old Trafford, Riverside, Sophia Gardens and Trent Bridge), as well as county grounds, giving young players privileged entry.

They are the proof of the success of the pathway structures the ECB has put in place. Though they are mostly able to play for the regional team closest to home, the total of only eight can lead to interesting splits. Seren and Sophia Smale, despite sharing a name and both being Welsh, are committed to two different teams. That is explained since Seren comes from North Wales and Sophia from the South. Their logical destinations were therefore Thunder and Storm respectively.

It remains to be seen which, (if any?) of those fifteen will become the first to receive a full England cap. The brackets are strictly unnecessary, but we can’t read selectors’ minds, can we!