Preview: Thunder vs Northern Diamonds

Beth Langston has spoken of her pride at being appointed as Northern Diamonds vice captain for 2022.

The England A bowler has joined forces with skipper Hollie Armitage, who herself has described the duo as “the perfect combination”.

Langston has stepped into a role which wasn’t officially filled during the first two seasons of regional cricket, and as part of the appointment she led Yorkshire women to the final of the recent County T20 competition, when Armitage was in the side.

Langston, 29, claimed two wickets in Saturday’s opening day Charlotte Edwards Cup T20 win over Lightning at Loughborough.

She has been speaking ahead of Wednesday’s second round clash against cross-Pennine rivals Thunder at Sale (1.30pm), when the Diamonds will almost certainly include England star Nat Sciver in the team.

Sciver is available again after a busy winter of international cricket.

Langston said: “It’s an honour to be chosen. I’ve not done much leadership stuff in my career, so it’s always nice to get involved in something different.

“Hopefully I can help Hollie as much as I can.

“I’d like to think that even if I wasn’t named as vice captain, I would still be able to offer advice, lead from the front with my performances, bring the younger players through - all the things which come with being a good team player.

“We’re good friends off the pitch, myself and Hollie, which definitely helps the dynamic. You then feel more comfortable offering advice.

“We’re quite different personalities. She’s a lot more outgoing and wears her heart on her sleeve a bit more. I’m probably a bit reserved. But it’s always good to have different perspectives.

“The great thing about our squad is I think there’s a number of people who could quite easily step up into the role.”

On captaining the Yorkshire women, Langston added: “It was out of my comfort zone, but I enjoyed it. It was a good experience.

“It’s definitely made me think about the game a bit more, thinking about the bigger picture rather than just what you need to do as a player to be successful.”

Armitage said: “It’s an appointment for the girls to know that they’ve got more people to talk to and, god forbid, if I was to ever go down injured, we know who steps up as captain.

“It just gives me that extra little bit of support if I need it, someone else to talk things through with.

“The girls respect Langers massively, and she’ll play a huge part for us this summer.

“She’s the opposite personality to me, but she has an unbelievable work ethic and a really good knowledge of the game.

“I don’t think you have to be the most outgoing person to captain a side. As long as you have the respect of the players, that’s what you need. Opposites attract, don’t they!”

The Diamonds are in buoyant mood after Saturday’s 39-run win over the Lightning, in which Lauren Winfield-Hill shone with 96 at the top of the order.

They will be boosted by superstar all-rounder Sciver’s return, which will hopefully be followed soon by national team-mate Katherine Brunt, who is having her workloads managed.

Thunder lost their opener on Saturday, by eight wickets to Southern Vipers at Hove, when they posted only 102-7.

They also have a new leadership team in captain Ellie Threlkeld and vice Georgie Boyce.

“We are definitely looking forward to this one,” said Langston. “We will play them a number of times this year, which is great because they’re always fun games to be involved in.

“The county T20s, Yorkshire v Lancashire, didn’t go the way we wanted them to. So it will be good to try and put that right.

“We know we’ve done well against the Thunder in the past, so hopefully we can keep that going.”

Injuries to Leah Dobson, Jenny Gunn and Bess Heath are all being monitored.

Squad to take on Thunder

Hollie Armitage, Abi Glen, Yvonne Graves, Bess Heath, Sterre Kalis, Leigh Kasperek, Beth Langston, Katie Levick, Emma Marlow, Natalie Sciver, Linsey Smith, Rachel Slater, Phoebe Turner, Lauren Winfield-Hill.


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