Heywood’s rising star Olivia Thomas had two reasons to celebrate last week.
A week that started with news of her inclusion in the England Women’s Training Squad ended with Olivia collecting the prestigious Cedric Rhodes trophy at the Lancashire Age Group presentation evening, effectively the young female player of the year award for Lancashire.
The England Training Squad sits beneath the England Academy and selection is based on the potential for young players to develop and graduate onto the Academy and beyond to the main England Women’s squad. Only 12 girls make up the squad and Olivia is the only representative from Lancashire in the group.
The Cedric Rhodes award capped a fine summer for the young leg spinner in which she broke club-mate Kate Cross’ Lancashire junior record for best bowling figures when she took 8-10 against Durham. She also made her senior Lancashire debut and combined with Cross for her first senior wicket, dismissing England legend Jenny Gunn caught by Cross in the game against Nottinghamshire.
The Siddal Moor student has also impressed at Heywood level and as well as junior cricket has progressed into the senior sides playing both 3rd and 2nd XI cricket this year with such good effect that she was named Young Player of the Year at the end of season awards night.
The news came in the same week that fellow Heywood graduate Jack Morley was awarded an extended contract at Lancashire following a year in which he was named the Heywood Player of the Year, and Olivia’s Heywood and Lancashire teammate Kate Cross was selected in the 15 strong touring party for the England tour of Pakistan which will be hosted in Kuala Lumpur throughout December.
Cricket Chairman Roger Smethurst was delighted for all three saying that “Heywood prides itself on developing our own young players and huge credit must go to all those that have worked so hard to give Olivia, Jack and Kate the opportunity to develop over the years; we wish Olivia and Jack the very best of luck for the next steps in their development and to Kate in the upcoming internationals. We are proud of all of them.”
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