AT A time of year when most club cricketers have put their kit away for a few months Ormskirk’s Rachel Dickinson is preparing for intensive coaching at Loughborough after being selected for the England Women’s Development Programme at Under-15 level.
Dickinson’s selection for the prestigious squad is only the latest achievement in a very promising cricket career which has seen the Brook Lane opening bowler win the Under 13 national championship with Lancashire and even gain a place on the Under 19 Emerging Players’ tour to Dubai last February.
“Rachel has always been primarily a bowler with a yard of pace and a strong action,” said Jenny Laycock, the Lancashire Cricket Board’s women’s and girls’ cricket development officer and captain of the Lancashire women’s team.
“She is a good athlete who has impressive baseline fitness through playing many sports, including hockey.
“She took the wickets of the first four batters in the Under-13 national final and this success gained her a place on the plane to Dubai in February.
“Rachel attacks the crease hard and has an action that allows her to bowl at a good pace.
“She also has the ability to swing the ball and has worked really hard on her slower ball, a delivery which impressed people during her trial for Under-15 development squad.
“She is also a hard-hitting batter who is working on her decision making and shot selection. On top of all this she is a reliable fielder who has a strong throw and is fast across the ground. These attributes have earned her a key boundary fielder position.”
Dickinson is one of three Lancashire girls to be selected for the U15 development squad.
Along with Rainford’s Ellie Threlkeld and Denton St Lawrence’s Hannah Jones, she will now attend three weekends of coaching at the National Performance Centre at Loughborough University in January, February and March.
Three others have been chosen in the U19 age group.
“It’s a fantastic achievement for all these girls to be recognised at these levels,” said Laycock.
“The girls at U15 level had to go for a trial, which is always a daunting experience. However they reacted well to the pressure and performed on the day. It’s all the result of hard work during the winter and then putting it into practice during games.”