In what must have been pretty-much her last act as England Academy coach, Lisa Keightley has culled almost a quarter of last year’s class in announcing this year’s expanded intake.
Sonia Odedra, Carla Rudd and Paige Scholfield have all been dropped; and whilst the door has been left open for Georgia Hennessy, she has also not been included at this time.
For 27-year-old Odedra, who was technically in the full ‘Performance’ squad and who has been part of the Academy setup since 2009, this looks likely to close the door on her England career. She may have only a single Test cap to her name; but it is one more Test cap than most of the rest of us will ever have, and it is something that she should remember with pride as she moves on.
Rudd and Scholfield have both been victims of other’s successes rather than their own failures – namely budding Lancashire glove butler Ellie Threlkeld and Middlesex tonker Sophia Dunkley. However, both Rudd and Scholfield should keep heart and look to the opportunities that next year’s new Super League will provide to get their cricketing careers back on track.
Warwickshire’s Hennessy is also not named in the current squad, after dropping out of the Academy program this summer with personal issues. However, an ECB source has told CRICKETher that the way is open for a possible return in future.
Finally, one other person not returning this winter is Academy Head Coach Lisa Keightley herself, who is going back to her native Australia to take up a job with the Western Australia Cricket Association in Perth.
England Academy – Winter 2015/16:
- Georgia Adams (Sussex)
- Hollie Armitage (Yorkshire)
- Ellen Burt (Sussex)
- Stephanie Butler (Staffordshire)
- Freya Davies (Sussex)
- Sophia Dunkley (Middlesex)
- Sophie Ecclestone (Cheshire / Lancashire)
- Katie George (Hampshire)
- Alex Hartley (Middlesex)
- Evelyn Jones (Staffordshire)
- Emma Lamb (Lancashire)
- Sophie Luff (Somerset)
- Alex MacDonald (Yorkshire)
- Bryony Smith (Surrey)
- Eleanor Threlkeld (Lancashire)