Player Diary: Laura Jackson on Farington, Xmas and Ashes
Read the latest winter update from Thunder Cricket's Laura Jackson...
I have to say, I am really excited about the prospect of Lancashire building a second ground just off the M6 in Farington, near Preston.
It is going to be such an asset to everyone connected with the county, not least the Lancashire and Thunder women’s squads.
When I was reading the article published the other day, it says there will be a gym in there and a function room - all these types of things.
We went to some brilliant outgrounds last summer at Chester and Sale. They are great club grounds, but they don’t have a gym. We were having to bring our own weights and things like that.
When we couldn’t get to Emirates Old Trafford, we made the best of it. And it was good. But this will be fantastic to have everything there on site that we need.
It will also be a lot more local to me - I’m based in Ormskirk - than Emirates Old Trafford. So that’s an added bonus!
I think, overall, it’s a great idea. I can’t wait for it to be up and running.
Another thing I can’t wait for is December 22, when we give out all of our Secret Santa presents on our last day of Thunder training before Christmas.
I know who I’ve got, but I can’t say too much unfortunately.
The budget is £10-15, and it’s basically got to be a jokey present. All I will say is that it’s one of the coaches who I’ve got and I’m very excited.
Our training schedule is a bit different from last winter given we have five or six more players with us this time. That is something which couldn’t happen last year with all the Covid bubbles and such.
It’s definitely brought a different element to training.
We are different groups, and there is more one-on-one time with coaches, which is great.
I can go two or three weeks without seeing certain players, and when you do it’s brilliant to see the progression and improvement in the girls. And we’re only a month or so into our programme.
The Ashes rivalry is building nicely between myself and my Australian friends I made from spending four winters over there earlier in my career.
There has been quite a few messages going back and forth sledging each other, and I’m quite excited for the series starting this week.
They are definitely confident, but I can’t wait to see their dreams get crushed!
Hopefully the Lancashire lads can have a good series and contribute. We all wish them the best. Fingers crossed Jimmy can sweep them up.
I think there will be two draws and we’ll just steal it. So 2-1.
That series precedes the women’s Ashes in January, which starts an absolute huge year for women’s cricket.
What we had with the Hundred this year, it really put women’s cricket on the map. And everyone - players, coaches, spectators - is now looking forward to this summer.
But we have the Ashes, the Hundred and the Commonwealth Games beforehand.
The salaries being doubled for the Hundred, that is great news as well. We are finally getting the recognition we deserve.
We were always hoping for a little increase, but for it to be doubled is incredible. It’s great that the ECB are backing us and putting their faith into us after we showed that we can do it.
A lot more eyes on us will add more pressure, but we are ready for it.