Kent all-rounder Alice Davidson-Richards is thrilled to receive a England rookie contract after breaking into the national senior squad for the first time.
The 23-year-old was named in the touring party to play India and Australia in a T20 series and will fly to Mumbai this week as one of three new players in the squad.
Since leaving university, the seamer spent a winter playing Grade cricket in Sydney before working full-time as a personal trainer in Sevenoaks.
Davidson-Richards said: “I was working five days a week and then travelling up to Loughborough for a couple of days to train with the England Academy squad.
“I was able to reduce my hours to four days a week and since signing my contract I only work one day a week.
“The main difference is I can rest after training sessions particularly in the evenings when I would usually be working. The rookie contracts help with the transition.”
The Tunbridge Wells bowling all-rounder won the women’s batting, bowling and player of the year awards at the 2017 Spitfire Kent Cricket Awards to earn a long-awaited international call-up.
ADR said: “It was a really good feeling to finally get the nod. It was an anxious couple of days waiting to get the nod.
“Mark Robinson told me during a training session and I celebrated with a gym session as my phone battery had run out so I couldn’t call my parents!
“I spent two weeks in Mumbai last year for a batting camp with the England Academy squad so I know something about the conditions we’ll be facing.
“It’s been seven years since my Kent debut and played both hockey and cricket at University of Leeds.
“I played cricket for six months in Australia in 2015-16 which helped me enjoy the game again.
“I’ve been working hard on my bowling variations as well as my batting with the England Academy coaches and Mark Dekker at Kent in the last 12 months.”
Alice will join Kent colleagues Tammy Beaumont and Tash Farrant on the tour so has settled well into the senior group at Loughborough.
Kent’s number 24 said: “I know the girls from county and Super League cricket so I’ve settled into the squad nicely.
“The high expectations of the England Academy in terms of fitness and skills mean it’s less of a step-up coming into the squad.”