Worcestershire Women’s Rapids pace bowler Emily Arlott has earned her first senior England call-up – and admitted: “it is a dream come true.”
Arlott has been included in the England squad for the Test match with India at the County Ground, Bristol, which begins on Wednesday, June 16.
The 23-year-old says she was “speechless” after being told the news in a phone call from England Women’s Cricket Director Jonathan Finch.
It followed on from Arlott’s remarkable performance for Central Sparks at the weekend.
She picked up FOUR wickets in an over, including a hat-trick, against Southern Vipers in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy at the Ist Central County Ground, Hove in front of England Women’s Head Coach, Lisa Knightley.
The King’s Lynn born player follows in the footsteps of Women’s Rapids spinner Sarah Glenn in being selected for the full England squad.
Arlott made her debut for Worcestershire eight years ago and was a member of the Rapids team, which competed this summer in the T20 competition, as well as helping Central Sparks win their opening three matches.
She earned a full-time domestic contract with the Sparks this winter – one of 41 female players amongst the eight teams in the new women’s regional set-up.
Arlott said: “I was speechless. I didn’t even think my name was in the ring for England discussions.
“I was eating my dinner, and I got a call from an unknown number, and Jonathan (Finch) left a voicemail and told me to call him back, which I thought was a bit weird on a random Sunday.
“He told me the news, and I don’t think I responded for a good two minutes!
“It is a dream come true, and I’m living quite a mental year because I wasn’t expecting to get a regional contract (with the Central Sparks).
“Six months later, I’ve got my first England call-up, and I just can’t put it into words.
“I let the whole nerves settle down, and I called my mum and dad, who were in the car together, and my mum started welling up.
“It was quite a funny conversation because I told them, and no one spoke for two minutes.
“They spent years and years when I was younger traipsing around the country, taking me to county games and club games, and it was a really nice moment to be able to share that now I’ve got to this stage.”
The achievement of Arlott and Glenn – plus Moeen Ali in the men’s game – is a testament to what can be achieved after coming through the Worcestershire ranks.
Arlott said: “I don’t think that part has sunk in yet. Getting the call is one thing, and realising it is a culmination of 10-15 years of not just hard work for me but people like Elliot (Wilson) and Ryan (D’Oliveira) from the Club who have helped me along the way.
“It’s nice to look back and think all the hard days were worth it to get to this point.
“Before our game turned professional, Worcestershire has been a big part of me, just enjoying my cricket to the point where it kept me in the game for that long.
“When you hit 15, 16, there is a noticeable drop off of girls (playing cricket), but I found I loved the game more, the more I played it.
“Having that enjoyment and family feel at Worcester meant I stayed in the game even through the hard times. It has paid off now.”
Arlott made her Worcestershire debut in 2013 and has been part of the England development and Academy programme.
In 2019 she was voted the Women’s Rapids Players’ Player Of The Year after finishing as their leading wicket-taker in the County Championship.
She has signed to play for Birmingham Phoenix in The Blast later this summer.