Ex-Portsmouth footballer, now 18-year-old Hampshire Women and Southern Vipers all-rounder, Katie George is set to make her England debut in her first ever trip to India.
“To be honest I wasn’t expecting it. It came as a nice surprise. Honestly it’s amazing, I’m really excited!”
It was England Women’s Coach Mark Robinson who Katie heard on the radio a couple of years previously, saying how he’d be interested in her training with the England team – if she chose to prioritise the cricket pathway.
At 15 Katie, in her own words, “had to start thinking about making a decision.”
“Football was definitely my first love, but I eventually realised I enjoyed cricket so much more. When I was playing it I could play freely, not worrying about what anyone was thinking.”
Her relationship with cricket, and Coach Mark Robinson, has since blossomed in such a way that: “Robbo told me quite informally [of her selection], just as we were sat having a chat on the sofa.”
Dubbed as a junior Katherine Brunt by Robinson, Katie could get the chance to replace the leading England all-rounder, who is still struggling with a back injury sustained in the WBBL and thus not in the squad to travel to India.
“That means a lot. When I was growing up I would try to emulate her. She is someone I look up to and aspire to, definitely.
“I want to look at other people and learn from them, but also I want to be my own person.
“If she was there then you would be expecting her to play every game.
“It’s a good opportunity for me to hopefully get a starting spot, and then we’ll see what happens.”
Mark Robinson mentioned how impressed he was by Katie’s show of character when being whacked around the park in last year’s KSL final, and yet continuing to go back to her mark and bowl fast.
“I would say that my personality has a lot of fight and resilience.
“It’s not always going to go your way in T20. I think the important thing is to be able to go back to your mark, have a clear plan of what you’re going to do and try and get that wicket to break that partnership.
“Growing up I played boys cricket. I still do play men’s cricket. I felt that I had to prove myself from an early age.
“I think that definitely helps when I have those sorts of situations.
“It’s going to be a great experience, I cannot wait to get started.
“I just want to knuckle down in training, and hopefully do the best I can to get a spot in the starting line-up”