England take on Australia in the one-day segment of the women’s Ashes series at The BrightonandHoveJobs.com County Ground this weekend, and for one member of the England team the two games will always evoke special memories.
Back in August 2005 Sussex-born, Holly Colvin, was invited to bowl in the Hove nets ahead of the Test match against Australia. A pupil at Brighton College, England captain, Clare Connor, who coached the cricketers at the College, had spotted her potential.
Colvin, who bowled left-arm spin, so impressed England coach Richard Bates that a couple of days later she was named in the team to play the Australians and at the age of 15 years and 336 days she became the youngest player of either sex to play for Test cricket for England.
“It was a hunch,” said Connor, who these days runs women’s cricket for the ECB. “The pitch was dry and dusty and we thought it would be conducive to spin.”
It certainly helped Holly that she had no idea who she was playing against, even though Australia were regarded as the strongest women’s team in the world at the time.
Colvin took three wickets, including two in successive balls, and a long international career had been launched.
She recalled: “ I think I was fortunate... I had no idea who I was playing against – all these big names that were coming up against me and I had pretty much no idea who they were.”
Colvin, now aged 23, has become an integral member of England’s one-day squad. She is likely to face Australia at Hove this weekend and in the subsequent Twenty20 matches and has played 114 times for her country since her unexpected debut.
For tickets and information on the Women's Ashes at Hove, visit http://www.sussexcricket.co.uk/tickets