Preston’s Lancashire all-rounder Emma Lamb is hoping her big England breakthrough will come sooner rather than later.
The 21-year-old represents the national academy side and featured in an unofficial international against Ireland in April 2017 that acted as a warm-up for that year’s World Cup.
Winning that tournament created a surge of interest in the women’s game, something Lamb is keen to be part of as she eyes up a coveted central contract and a long professional career.
This summer sees England face the West Indies before taking on Australia in the Ashes.
“I feel that within the next year I will be making the full step-up into the England senior squad if I continue to perform,” said Lamb, the sister of Lancashire men’s player Danny.
“This is my ultimate career goal, to play for England and make a mark with bat and ball.
“My aim is also to earn a full-time contract within the next two years.
“The women’s game is evolving and gaining a higher profile.
“I think within the next few years there will be at least double the amount of full-time contracted players and hopefully the county standard will become full-time in the long term as well.”
Lamb, an Edge Hill University student, has been on the Red Rose books since the age of 10 and has scored more than 2,500 runs in one-day and Twenty20 formats since making her debut in 2012.
She has flourished as an opening batter and more recently as an off-spinner, the new string to her bow helping her make an impact in the Kia Super League against some of the world’s best players.
“I learnt a lot, especially as I opened the bowling,” she said.
“There were some highs and lows, especially playing on TV and in front of a big crowd when things didn’t go to plan.
“Playing against the best players meant I definitely got punished for bowling a bad ball but you still get hit when bowling decent deliveries!
“One thing I really learnt against these players is to always have a back-up plan and never to be afraid to try something new as it could work out well.”