Under-19 World Cup star Hannah Baker believes playing in the Charlotte Edwards Cup exposed her to new situations after the Central Sparks ended their campaign with a defeat.
The spinner bowled three overs for 31 runs and was run out for one as her side fell seven runs short of their target of 177 at Canterbury to end the T20 tournament with two wins.
After the game, Baker said: “It is disappointing to have had the day we did. It wasn’t the best performance from me.
“Now, we’ll have a good break and come back for the 50-over stuff. I’m sure I’ll be raring to go again.”
This defeat brings something of a dampener onto a good week for the 19-year-old, who was called into an England red ball training camp ahead of the Ashes Test against Australia on 22nd June.
On this opportunity, Baker said: “It has been a great experience playing with the red ball, and being around the England environment.
“The red ball is a bit different, so it was all about learning and adapting quickly from the white ball game.
“It was good to get a few overs under my belt and show them what I can do. Certainly, a big learning curve.
“I did get to bowl to quite a few of my heroes. Emma Lamb batted well – I think she is brilliant.”
Her involvement in this camp, and her increased game time with the Central Sparks this season, comes following a successful campaign with England at the first-ever Under-19s Women’s World Cup in India earlier this year.
Baker featured in eight of the games on England’s run to the final, taking 12 wickets, including three in a player-of-the-match performance in the semi-final against Australia.
The transition from Under-19s to senior cricket has proved tough, with Baker only picking up two wickets in her five Charlotte Edwards Cup matches.
However, she is using these experiences, both in the T20 competition and the England camp, to develop herself as a player.
She said: “It has been great to play more games. I’ve been exposed to new situations and I’m learning.
“Playing is aiding my development. The coaches have been backing me all the way to perform my skills.
Now the Charlotte Edwards Cup is over for the Sparks, short-term Baker hopes to play in the 50-over format when it returns.
“I want to get as many wickets as I can and develop into one of the best bowlers.
She understands she is a long way from being selected to play a Test match, but with her attitude, involvement in the training camp, and hunger to learn, it seems likely Baker will be handed her cap sometime in the future.
She added: “It’s my dream to play Test match cricket, but now, I am just focusing on myself, and taking every game as it comes.”