HEYWOOD Cricket Club’s female protégé Olivia Thomas can look back on an outstanding season at Lancashire with pride.
The 14-year-old all-rounder has featured regularly in Heywood’s second and third teams this season, and recently took her first senior five-wicket haul with figures of 5-28 from seven overs in a third team game against Egerton.
But it is her remarkable progress at county level which has really caught the eye.
Olivia finished leading run-scorer for the county women’s Under-15s side, scoring 265 runs with an average of 38, including two half-centuries.
And although she did not have much chance to display her leg-spin bowling talent she did take 6-12 from six overs in a game against Northumberland.
It has been a different story at Under-17 county level where Olivia’s bowling has been integral to the side being crowned national champions.
Olivia finished the season as leading wicket-taker with 24 victims, and also ended up as the leading Under-17s wicket-taker in the country.
That included claiming four victims in the semi-final of the National Championship against Somerset and one in the final against Staffordshire.
Also added to Olivia’s CV for 2018 has been becoming Lancashire’s leading wicket-taker in the whole of the Red Rose women’s set-up, seventh leading run scorer with 331 runs at an average of 30 and joint top of the fielding stats.
Her performances earned an invite to join the Lancashire Thunder Regional Development Centre in June, and she has played a number of matches.
Her bowling performances also led to her being invited to attend a spin bowling camp with the ECB at the National Cricket Performance Centre at Loughborough.
For Heywood, she has also played for the Club’s Under-15 and Under-18 sides when her commitments for Lancashire have allowed.
Olivia said: “I’m really pleased with my season and thrilled with the rewards this has brought.
“My aim at the beginning of this season was to be selected for a few games for Lancashire Under-17s and to be invited to trial for the Thunder Development Squad this coming winter.
“To have already achieved this and more has been a dream come true, with the invitation to the ECB spin bowling camp being the icing on the cake.
“The plan now is to work hard over the winter to ensure I continue to improve and build on what I have achieved during 2018.”
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