Laura MacLeod intends Warwickshire to “lead the way” in women’s cricket following her appointment as Women’s and Girls Performance manager at Edgbaston.
Former England star MacLeod has set the bar high after joining the Bears following a long and successful career first as an England player and then in a series of roles with the England and Wales Cricket Board.
"Warwickshire has a great history of producing talented cricketers, both boys and girls."
MacLeod brings a wealth of on-field experience having won 13 Test, 73 ODI and three T20 caps for England before joining the ECB to work in increasing participation within the women’s and girls’ game, as well as with disability cricket and in diverse communities.
Her input to the sport already has earned her the rare accolade of honorary life-membership of the MCC and she was recently appointed chair of the MCC women’s cricket subcommittee. But, aged 40, she is now excited to be embarking upon a brand new adventure – a first opportunity to put her stamp on a big club from within.
“I am thrilled to have been appointed to this role at Warwickshire,” she said. “I’ve been in cricket all my life whether as a player or administrator or the parent of young cricketers and it is a genuine passion of mine to improve the female game.
“Warwickshire has a great history of producing talented cricketers, both boys and girls, so my brief is to keep that going while looking at the current framework to see how we can further improve it and produce more cricketers not just for Warwickshire and Birmingham Bears but for England.
“It was clear when I spoke to Ashley Giles and Neil Snowball that they have real ambition for the women’s game. They want this club to be a leader, not just in the Midlands but in the country, and that attracted me to the role.”
After a summer to prepare while she served notice with the ECB, Cheshire-born MacLeod is now truly getting her teeth into the job after starting at Edgbaston at the beginning of October.
There is plenty to do – and she has wasted no time.
“I have made a few changes with Dominic Ostler and Tom Brown now heading up the women’s first team,” she said. “Dominic has been involved with the Under 17s for a number of years so knows many of the girls and Tom has been involved as well so they will really add value.
“We want the girls to respond better to match situations. For example, last year there were a couple of tied games and in those there will have been moments when something went awry, perhaps under pressure. This winter we want to give them the skills to handle that pressure.
“I’m very pleased to have Dominic and Tom in those roles, and also Alex Roslyn and Josh Hickman working with the seconds. We want to make Warwickshire the envy of the country and if we are to do that it’s not just about the players, it’s about getting the right coaches and managers into the structure.
“How you develop a player is much more than the player herself, it’s the package around her and we are not just talking about elite level, we need to get a really good base. We need the best people on board and with these appointments I think we have them.”