Winfield-Hill backs Langston to shine for England A

Beth Langston has been backed to shine for England A in their forthcoming series of limited overs games against Australia, starting this week.

Langston’s Northern Diamonds team-mate Lauren Winfield-Hill, out in Australia with the senior England team for the Ashes, believes the fast bowler will be ideally suited to the pitches Down Under.

Some excellent performances in Diamonds colours over the last 18 months for the 29-year-old new ball quick have caught the eye of the England selectors again.

She played four ODIs and two T20Is between 2013 and 2016 and was in the squad without featuring for the 2017 one-day World Cup, which England won on home soil.

Since the inception of the regional structure in women’s cricket, at the start of 2020, Langston has taken 29 wickets in 18 appearances for the Diamonds with a best of 3-18.

“I think she will go really well in this series,” said Winfield-Hill. “The extra pace and bounce which Aussie pitches provide will suit her.

“She’s nice and tall, gets good bounce, and she’s definitely not short of pace.”

Winfield-Hill and Langston have been playing against each other over the last few days in some intra-squad warm-up games, one of which England A won despite figures of 7-14 from left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone for the seniors.

Langston played for England A against the touring New Zealanders in the summer, and it would be no surprise if she was able to make the step up once more to full international honours after the best part of six years away.

“For Langers, she’s just got to play cricket and stay fit,” said Winfield-Hill.

“She’s always had the potential and has played for England in the past.

“The thing that has hampered her is she’s got injured at the wrong times. There’s never a right time to get injured, but she missed out on the start of the Hundred, for example, last summer.

“She did really well against New Zealand when she got called up to the A squad last summer.

“It’s just about keeping her body right now because everybody knows she has the ability with the ball.

“She just need the volume of games and performances behind her, which will take the pressure away.

“If you know you have a run of games, you don’t have that feeling of, ‘I’ve absolutely got to nail it today because I don’t know when my next game’s coming’.

“The poor girl came back and played in the last game of the Hundred against Birmingham Phoenix, who had come off the back of two wins. She went the distance. But it was her first game in a while.”

Both the Ashes and the A series start with T20 matches in Adelaide on Thursday.

Following their respective winter commitments, Langston, Winfield-Hill, Katherine Brunt and Nat Sciver will all play their part in the Diamonds’ bid for success in 2022.

“For all of us, we love playing for the Diamonds and representing the North,” added Winfield-Hill.

“We can talk all we want about getting to finals and getting over the line. But you have to be in those situations to learn from it.

“It’s good we’ve got ourselves to three successive finals.

“It just adds fuel to fire every time you miss out - and there is some real fire to re-write that script and make sure we get a trophy this summer.”


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