James Carr describes the recruitment of Sarah Taylor as a win-win

James Carr has described the Northern Diamonds recruitment of Sarah Taylor as a win-win for both parties.

The Diamonds have signed the England wicketkeeping legend as a replacement because Lauren Winfield-Hill is on Test duty and Bess Heath is injured.

Taylor, 32-years-old, is coming out of retirement for this summer’s Hundred, a competition in which she will play for Cardiff based Welsh Fire.

Capped 226 times across all formats by England, she retired in September 2019.

She played four T20 games for home county Sussex in early May.

But Saturday’s Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy clash with the South East Stars at Emerald Headingley (10.30am) will mark her comeback to the professional game.

The move has come about as a result of Taylor being close to Diamonds coach and ex-England team-mate Dani Hazell, and Diamonds director of cricket Carr said: “Sarah has come out of retirement for the Hundred, which is awesome.

“Lauren has been called up by England, which is great news, but Bess is injured. We’re trying to get her fit for the Hundred.

“We said to Sarah, ‘Do you want some pre-Hundred games to help you and us given the situation we’re in?’ Clearly, it’s very beneficial for both parties.

“It’s an open arrangement at the moment. It’s definitely covering the games pre the Hundred (Regional T20 after Saturday).

“Bess is an incredible athlete, and her injury is a blow. She might be back a bit sooner than we initially thought, but we need some cover.

“We have just launched our first Academy with two wicketkeepers. We are quite a raw Academy, and it is just not appropriate to draft one of those up yet.

“Sarah is the best wicketkeeper available to us at this moment, and she has got the bug back and wants to be involved. That is great.”

Carr believes Taylor’s return to the game is further proof of the great work the England and Wales Cricket Board are doing to drive the women’s and girls’ game forwards in this country.

He said: “The fact the women’s game has kept someone like Jenny Gunn in the game due to the inception of professional contracts at domestic level and the Hundred has attracted Sarah out of retirement, that is testimony to what the ECB has done to transform the women’s and girls’ game.”

Tickets remain available to watch Taylor in action at Headingley on Saturday, the second RHF Trophy game at Leeds in a fortnight after the narrow defeat to the Central Sparks when England stars Winfield-Hill and Amy Jones both scored centuries.

Carr added: “Two weeks ago at Headingley, the weather was set fair and the crowd got treated to five England internationals, two of whom got hundreds.

“What more could you want? It was high quality, high octane cricket.

“Saturday is going to be no different. You are going to have World Cup winners on the park, not just Sarah but Beth Langston and Jenny Gunn.

“It should be a great day.”


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