Katie Levick on the success of the Northern Diamonds squad



The Northern Diamonds have made a very impressive start to life in regional cricket.


A final appearance in last season’s Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy and qualification for Sunday’s Charlotte Edwards Cup T20 Finals Day, the Diamonds are also in contention for this year’s Heyhoe Flint final as well.


But why is it that the Diamonds have hit the ground running at the start of the new professional era of women’s domestic cricket in England.


Leg-spin star Katie Levick gives her view.


“We went down the route of looking to assemble an experienced squad who has a lot of county experience under our belt as well as the internationals we have with us,” she said.


“The squad that Dani (Hazell) and the rest of the coaches brought together gelled instantly because we’ve played together for years.


“That’s the main thing when building a team. If you have that camaraderie and will to win for each other, that’s going to go a long way.


“The experience level has shown in particular this year - we know how to win games.


“When you are under pressure and don’t put the runs on the board, like we haven’t been doing consistently, we can still dig ourselves out of a hole.


“For us to be at Finals Day and still in contention for the Heyhoe Flint, it’s just shown how handy that experience has been.


“But it’s not just all the older ones who are carrying the team.


“Rachel Slater coming in over the last few games shows the depth of talent we have in this region. It’s really exciting.”


If the Diamonds do finish the job at Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl on Sunday and claim the Charlotte Edwards Cup trophy with wins over Southern Vipers in the midday semi-final and South East Stars in the 4pm final, it will be a very special moment for Levick.


Here is a 30-year-old who, on the field, has experienced some near misses. Last year’s RHF Trophy final defeat against the Vipers at Edgbaston was one example.


Off the field, she was put through the mill late last year and at the start of this having been hit hard after contracting Coronavirus.

“I was chatting to family about it recently and said, ‘I feel like I’ve deserved more Finals Days in my career and I’m desperate to get there’,” she said.


“It seems like things have gone against us in the past.


“With the Yorkshire Diamonds in 2019, we had a situation where we won one more game than the Vipers and still didn’t end up qualifying for Finals Day.


“There have been plenty of near misses!


“So for us to qualify for this year’s Finals Day against the odds on Monday - the amount of stuff we needed to go our way was significant - felt like a bit of redemption.


“Now I’m desperate to win it!”


And Levick added: “I actually forget at times how my year started, and it’s not until you step back and take a bit of time to think that it hits home.


“In January, I couldn’t even walk around my house let alone think about playing.


“My return to play then kept getting pushed back and pushed back, and I thought, ‘Ok, I might just not play this year’.


“So to take part in every game, and I feel like I’ve contributed in them all, it’s really fulfilling and spurs you on more than anything.


“If we win it on Sunday, you’d probably see me crying on the pitch.”


There is, meanwhile, a Reserve day for Finals Day on Monday should weather intervene on Sunday.

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