[lead]Gloucestershire’s Danielle Gibson and Natasha Wraith have been named in national and regional training squads this winter.[/lead]
Dumbleton allrounder Gibson,15, is in the England Women’s Academy squad while Frenchay wicketkeeper Wraith – who is 14 – will be part of the Western Storm Regional Development Centre.
Danielle’s selection follows an impressive 2016 that saw her scoop three awards at the Gloucestershire end of season presentation evenings.
The Dean Close pupil was named Gloucestershire Women’s player of the year, under 17 player of the year and took home the prize for under 15 performance of the year. Despite being the youngest regular member of the county women’s squad she took 18 wickets at 10.33 and made important contributions with the bat.
She showed her prowess with the bat in the under 17 squad where she scored 486 runs at an average of44 and a strike rate of 128 – as well as picking up 15 wickets at 18.
Danielle has been part of the Gloucestershire junior squads for a number of years and has been part of the county’s Emerging Player Programme (EPP) which offers additional coaching opportunities to youngsters with high potential.
Gloucestershire Cricket Board (GCB) women and girls officer Lisa Pagett said:
“This is fantastic news for Dani and is well-deserved. She has developed into a proven match-winner with both bat and ball and can also change a game with her fielding.
“It is has been great to see her continued improvement over the last few years to the point where she has not only excelled in our junior age groups but has become a key player for the senior women’s team.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for her and one that I’m sure she will grab with both hands.”
The Academy squad will be led by Salliann Briggs and will train at the ECB’s National Cricket Performance Centre at Loughborough.
Natasha Wraith – who attends Winterbourne International Academy – was selected for the new Western Storm Regional Development Centre despite only taking up wicketkeeping at the start of the 2015 season.An aggressive top order batter, she made her Gloucestershire Women’s senior debut last season at the age of 14 and scored a match-winning 26 not out v the Netherlands.
She has been part of the county’s Girls EPP since it was launched in 2014 and in 2016 became the first girl to play in a county boys’ team.
“Nat is a naturally-gifted player who takes every opportunity to try and improve herself. To have reached the level she has after only taking up the gloves two years ago is testament to this.
“She embraces every challenge head on and I am sure she will gain a lot from the chance to develop her skills at the next level up.”
Danielle and Natasha’s selection coincides with the ECB announcing a new four tier pathway for elite Women’s Cricket culminating in the full England squad. Below this is the England Women’s Senior Academy – headed up by John Stanworth – followed by the England Women’s Academy – which includes Danielle.
To view the squads in full go to https://www.ecb.co.uk/news/132982
The bridge between county and national level comes in the form of six regional development centres based on the Kia Women’s Super League teams.
Commenting on the pathway, ECB’s director of England Women’s cricket, Clare Connor, said:
“The pinnacle for any talented, aspiring young cricketer is to play and win matches for England, and through the England Women’s Pathway we believe that we are developing a structure to support their journey.
“The introduction of the six new Regional Development Centres aligned to the Kia Super League structure helps us to significantly broaden the talent pool that we are working with at the base of the pathway, and without any age constraints, we can take a broader and extended view of a young player’s potential. From there, the England Women’s Academy and England Women’s Senior Academy are in place to help bridge the gap to international cricket.”