Threlkeld hails positive impact of the KSL
Ellie Threlkeld: "It’s been great to push myself forward"
Lancashire Thunder wicketkeeper Ellie Threlkeld believes the Kia Super League has allowed county players to rub shoulders with the very best in the world while also inspiring the next generation.
The 20-year-old has been part of the Thunder team since the first year of the competition in 2016 having grown up playing in the Lancashire leagues.
In fact, she is one of only three players who have played every game across four years, making 30 appearances alongside fellow homegrown talent Emma Lamb and Sophie Ecclestone.
The final season of the KSL culminated with Western Storm’s victory over Southern Vipers at the 1st Central County Ground in Hove on Sunday, with a new era for the women’s game set to feature The Hundred from next summer.
Threlkeld believes the KSL has played a huge role in advancing women’s cricket and offering players a potential pathway to the international stage.
“The KSL has been great to bridge the gap between county and international level,” Threlkeld said.
“If you play well here, the England selectors look at you. It’s been the place to perform really.
“For someone like me who hasn’t made their England debut but is probably a big part of the Lancashire county setup, it’s been great to push myself forward.
“When you’re training and playing with the world-class players, it’s a great opportunity to test yourself.
“That’s why it’s been such a good competition, you’ve had the chance to play with and against the best players in the world.
“As a young player myself and I know a lot of the other young players in the dressing room learn a lot from those players. As well as playing with them, you learn a lot from them in training. It’s been great to have them around.
“For players like myself and Emma (Lamb) who started as young kids, we’ve been involved for four years now and this year I feel I’ve personally gone from being one of the really young players to almost being a senior player.”
Threlkeld feels the competition has increased the exposure of the players and shown those young supporters that there is a future in women’s cricket - something she believes The Hundred will only enhance.
“I think it’s a great opportunity to show younger girls that there is a career in cricket,” she added.
“The game has come a long way in the last few years, and I think the KSL has been a big part of that.
“For us to have the younger girls coming to watch us is brilliant and great to see. Hopefully we are inspiring them to one day be where we are.”
The Thunder have not managed to qualify for Finals Day in any of the four seasons and struggled again this year finishing bottom of the table.
But there have been some impressive individual performances, with many of the county players - including Threlkeld - proving their quality.
The Knowsley-born wicketkeeper-bat admits that putting in performances to catch the eye of The Hundred coaches has been on the mind of the players.
“I definitely think it has (been on players’ minds),” Threlkeld said.
“Hundred contracts are being talked about and are on the line and if you put a good performance in, who knows what could happen. This has been the place to show those coaches you can play at this sort of level.
“It’s important because there’s talk about lots of money being pumped into it. But for players like me, it’s just about being involved and being around elite-level cricket.”