Brunt backs Armitage for England honours

If and when Hollie Armitage breaks through to play for England, her Northern Diamonds team-mate Katherine Brunt may have played a small part in helping her get there.

“I’ll always try and push Hol,” said England seamer Brunt. “I say that to her, and I’ll say it to the selectors too.

“I love what she’s about. She’s fit, she’s strong, she’s an athlete and her head’s in the right place.

“She can also hit a ball further than I’ve ever seen anyone hit it and bowl leg-spin. That’s ideal.”

Brunt’s comments come as she returns to England duty for the forthcoming Test Match against India at Bristol, starting on June 16.

It is a level Diamonds captain Armitage could easily get to if she continues some impressive form at different levels during the first half of 2021.

In the winter, she scored a century for Tasmanian club Clarence in the final as she led them to one-day silverware before totalling 184 runs in three T20s for Yorkshire women, including scores of 71 and 64 not out. She also took five wickets.

She is yet to fire for the Diamonds this summer with scores of 13, 12 and 14 not out in three Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy games, though she did all she could with her 14 as it came chasing only 54 in Saturday’s win over Sunrisers at Cambridge.

Brunt, who claimed three wickets in that match, said: “Don’t forget, she’s only 23. It will happen for her. I think the future’s bright.

“She’s a tough cookie. I remember her as a 16-year-old and absolutely smoking the under 17s or something.

“She’d get 100 off 50 balls and it would be like, ‘Hello, who’s this kid then?’ I couldn’t wait to see how she progressed.

“She such a strong character, full of energy and loves playing for Yorkshire and the Diamonds.

“We knew she’d be a great player, but it was always going to be a case of how much she wants it. She clearly does, and it’s great to see.

“That’s why she’s in the leadership position she has now.

“She’s had a great winter out in Australia, where she could relax and play her cricket. It’s done wonders for her.

“But, equally, she’s enjoying this opportunity where it’s all on her and she’s enjoying the opportunity and new challenge.”

The Diamonds are next in RHF Trophy action on Saturday when they welcome South East Stars to Emerald Headingley (10.30am). They will go in search of their third win in four games.


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