When the initial Super League squads were announced, Berkshire left-arm spinner Linsey Smith was not even included in the list: her chance to play in the competition came only when Charlotte Edwards and Fi Morris collided horribly in the field in the Vipers’ first game last week and she was called in as cover.
Speaking exclusively to CRICKETher after the game, she admitted that even the chance to take to the field with the Vipers has been an unexpected bonus: “I’d been doing some training with the team but to get out there on a big stage like this is great. Just to be part of the team and to have an opportunity to play in the games has been amazing for me.”
But while Smith’s KSL career might have begun as a lucky break, it has not continued that way: it was only down to her own performance with the ball in the Vipers’ previous game, against Lancashire Thunder – she took 1-15 in her 4 overs – that she was retained in the starting XI for today’s match. She was clearly excited about having now claimed her spot in her own right: “I feel amazing. It’s a massive honour to be part of the Vipers with such a huge variety of players at such different levels, and some world-class players…we’ve got a lot of positive vibes in the team.”
On her bowling today – she finished with 4-10, currently the best figures in the competition – she acknowledged that things had gone to plan: “It was a pitch that suited my bowling quite a bit – quite a slow pitch. I was just trying to stick it in the wicket a little bit, making it hard for the batters by taking the pace off the ball, which went well.”
Linsey Smith celebrates taking the wicket of Alex Blackwell. Photo credit: Ruth Conchie.
Lastly, reflecting on the impact that KSL has had on her as a player, Smith was fulsome with her praise: “It just helps me get better and better really. I’m quite new to spin, still learning every game I play. So to have all these different experiences around me, both in games and out of games as well, is a huge opportunity for me to get better.”