Brian Halford
1st May 2019

MacLeod: “There’s a real sense of excitement that competitive cricket is here”

Warwickshire Women will launch their Royal London 50-over Cup season this weekend amid high expectations - and women's and girl’s performance manager Laura MacLeod has absolutely no problem with that.

The Bears open their campaign with an away double-header against Sussex at Brighton on Sunday and Kent at Beckenham on Monday.

It is a tough start, but with the squad buzzing after an excellent pre-season under coaches Dominic Ostler and Tom Brown, Warwickshire are in good shape – and further buoyed by the availability of Amy Jones during May following her brilliant winter with England.

"We have a lot of really good, promising players in the squad and that competition means that everybody knows that if they don’t perform there is someone ready to take their place."

Laura MacLeod

So those lofty expectations are there – as they should be for any ambitious team, insists MacLeod.

“Our pre-season could not really have gone better,” she said. “With that comes a bit of pressure to translate it into good performances in competitive cricket and I’m comfortable with that. If players are going to play at a high level, they have to deal with expectations and perform under pressure. It’s what successful teams do.

“The girls are so excited about this season and can’t wait for these first two games to arrive. Over the last few months, Dominic and Tom have had a fantastic impact on the squad.

“They have been really honest with the players and been tough when needed. It’s not been fluffy – if something has not been good enough then no-one has shied away from saying so and addressing it. We have a lot of really good, promising players in the squad and that competition means that everybody knows that if they don’t perform there is someone ready to take their place.”

The Bears will enter the seven-game Royal London group phase confident after winning three of their four pre-season games. They bowled Nottinghamshire out for 51 on the way to a 177-run victory, beat Worcestershire by 56 runs, thanks to 132 not out from Bethan Ellis, and defeated Loughborough University and before losing to Shrewsbury School boys 2nd XI by 38 runs.

“The girls have been played some really good 50-over cricket,” said MacLeod. “There were some standout individual performances but what was really pleasing was the way they dealt with phases of games that didn’t go their way.

“The games they won were not easy victories by any means and there will always be times in 50-over cricket when you are under pressure and have to hold your nerve. The girls showed they can do that and that’s one of the things that Dominic, with his great experience, has brought to us.

“There’s a real sense of excitement that, at last, all the practice and preparation is nearly over and the competitive cricket is here. It’s great to have Amy with us, not just as a player on the field but for what she brings to the group, and Sussex and Kent first up will be a great test for us to start with.”

Warwickshire Women's Fixture List 2019

Warwickshire Women play four home games in the Royal London Women's One-Day County Championship, which all take place on Sundays and the Whitsun Bank Holiday Monday at the Edgbaston Community Sports Ground.

Entry is completely free to all supporters.

Click to view 2019 fixtures