Kent captain Tammy Beaumont is relishing the opportunity to open the batting for England on home turf on Friday at The Spitfire Ground.
The 27-year-old Kent Cricket Academy graduate is set to make her second international appearance at Canterbury after a solitary T20 international against India six years ago.
“I played at The Spitfire Ground in a T20 early in England career but I didn’t bat and barely fielded a ball so the chance to open the batting in front of a good home crowd is exciting.
“Having played Kwik Cricket at Canterbury when I was 10, to represent your country there is a fantastic honour.
“I grew up watching Matthew Fleming, David Fulton and Rob Key at the ground and getting autographs and now it’s me playing there and signing autographs.
“I met Rob Key’s daughter recently before a Kent match and he mentioned that she looks up to me more than him which is something very special.”
“I’m really looking forward to it. The World Cup semi-final against South Africa went right to the wire so this should be an exciting series.
“After a disappointing winter, we won’t underestimate them. Their opening bowlers and top order are world-class so it could be a really good series if both teams fire.
“We’ve worked on a few things over the last weeks to hone our skills. I won’t set myself big individual goals as I want to keep it simple, focus on the next match and the bowlers we’ll be facing.
“There’s competition for places and I’m feeling in good form after a few good knocks for Kent.”
The Kent skipper is delighted to have a county colleague in the ranks after off-spinner Laura Marsh earned a recall after taking 11 early-season wickets and scoring an unbeaten 50 in county cricket.
The former Sandwich Town junior cricketer said: “Laura deserves her recall. She’s been brilliant for Kent and has slightly changed her action so she’s looking even more threatening with the ball than she ever has.
“It’s been nice to stand at slip and see her back to her best so we can see her taking wickets in an England ODI shirt.”
The Kent captain has backed the young county squad to keep improving after finishing third in the Royal London Women’s County Championship.
“We’ve had some great performances this year but we were disappointed to lose our final match at Canterbury.
“We’d have taken third place at the start of the season as progress from last season.
“We’ve got some great young players coming through so they’ll have an opportunity to prove themselves in the T20 competition while the international players are away. The batting will be the main focus going forward.”
Entry to all home Women’s matches is included in all Kent Memberships an option for Six Pack holders.
World champions England play South Africa at The Spitfire Ground on Friday 15 June in a Royal London One-Day International. Advance tickets cost £15 for adults, £1 for under 16s.