Speaking for the first time as a South East Stars player, Tash Farrant has told CRICKETher that her sights are set on an England comeback, 18 months after she was unceremoniously dropped from the squad by then-coach Mark Robinson.
Farrant, who was unveiled last week in the first tranche of what will eventually be 40 new domestic professional contracts in England, was appearing alongside fellow Stars signings Sophia Dunkley, Alice Davidson-Richards and Bryony Smith, and newly appointed Regional Director Richard Bedbrook, who told us that inking-in the former England player, currently living in Loughborough, was an easy decision to make:
“Tash is a Kent girl at heart, and when we initially chatted there was a desire for her to come back this way, so it was a no-brainer then that she’d be part of the group.”
For Farrant, losing her England contract at the start of 2019 was a bitter blow that came somewhat out of the blue: “When I got let go I wasn’t really expecting it, so for the last year and a half it has been tough.” There were even thoughts of packing it all in: “I potentially wanted to [give up], because if you get let go from the England setup, you’re living the best life, you’re contracted, you’re stable, but as soon as you lose it, there’s nothing to fall back on.”
But fortunately for everyone, those thoughts were short-lived: “I quickly switched out of that. For me, I just love the game – I would play in the back garden!”
Working with a new bowling coach – Scott Boswell, formerly of Lancashire and Leicestershire – has been a big positive for Farrant:
“I feel like I’ve got a new sense of my cricket life – I’ve been working at Trent College with Scott, who I cannot praise highly enough. We’ve been going back to the basics, and looking at some points of my action – it’s quite mundane stuff, but I’ve worked really hard, so hopefully we can get some games and I can get out there playing again with the girls, which would be amazing”.
Meanwhile Farrant’s new boss Bedbrook, who was formerly head coach of Surrey Stars in the KSL, is keen to support the ambitions of his players as far as they want to take them: “We want to help players make the next step up and realise the ambitions that they might have, which might be to play for England, but equally it might be to be a professional cricketer for as long as they can.”
For Farrant, the former is clearly very much on her mind, but she remains grounded about it: “I definitely have aspirations to get back into the England squad, so hopefully if we do get back out there at the back end of the summer, I can get out there and show what I can do. If it will happen, it will happen; but if not, then I’m happy to be a professional cricketer in the domestic game.”