Worcestershire CCC Academy Coach Elliot Wilson believed pace bowler Emily Arlott had the potential to play for England from when he first saw her in action for the County as a 15-year-old.
That faith in Arlott’s ability has now been realised with her selection for the England Women’s squad for the Test match against India at Bristol beginning tomorrow.
She came through the Worcestershire pathway, played for the Women’s Rapids side, and then Central Sparks. After earning a domestic professional contract this winter, she secured her first senior England call-up.
Wilson said: “The whole club is delighted for her. She’s been involved with the club for the best part of a decade as a young cricketer with our age group programme.
“She had a bit of time then with the England development programme when she was 15-16 and then stepped away from that because it was a lot thrown at her all at the same time.
“Emily spent some time working away from Worcester and then came back to the city and worked for the Worcestershire Cricket Board with the school’s programmes they run.
“She then put herself in the hat for and earned one of the 41 contracts with Central Sparks, and we are not surprised Emily has gone from strength to strength given the ability to have time on task and do cricket every day of the week.
“To give someone like Emily the ability to practice day in and day out, inevitably they are going to get better –, and this girl is getting better.”
Wilson added: “Outside of Katherine, Anya and Kate over the last ten years, there haven’t been too many fast bowlers come into the England game.
“When someone like Emily does come along, they are quite exciting; from the minute I saw Emily as a 15-year-old playing down in Devon, I said, “if this cricketer hasn’t got a chance of playing for England, I don’t know who has”.
“Emily was tall, athletic and bowled fast. From that point forward, I would have been fascinated to know what’s gone wrong if Emily didn’t play for England.
“Emily has had an incredible journey, with some highs and lows and some time away from cricket.
“To be six feet, to bowl genuine medium pace is quite exciting.”
Arlott has followed another Rapids player in spinner Sarah Glenn into the England women’s set-up while Moeen Ali has been carrying the Worcestershire flag in the men’s game for many years.
Wilson said: “What we are passionate about as coaches is trying to help people to be the best version of themselves.
“It’s great to be able to help her to be such a good representative of Worcestershire cricket, and I hope Emily has a great time with England.
“Mum and dad have supported her wholeheartedly, and they are passionate about supporting Emile but not overbearing. They care, are interested and have been great in how they have supported her.”
Worcestershire Women’s Rapids captain Chloe Hill is delighted to see Arlott in the England squad.
Hill said: “She has worked so hard this winter. It is a testament to the work she has put in over many years.
“Emily was in the England system from a young age with the Academy. She took a year out of cricket which I think has done her a world of good because she has returned and got that drive to keep going and going.
“To have someone else from Worcestershire after Sarah (Glenn), just shows how well the pathway is supporting up and coming players.
“She has been with Worcestershire for many years. Emily has got so much control with the ball. You have Izzy Wong, who is quick, and Emily has got that control with the new ball.
“Just being in the senior England environment will be amazing for her and amazing for Worcestershire as well.
“It will inspire others. They can achieve so much. They’ve just got to keep pushing through that system at Worcestershire, come through into the senior team and show what they can do.”