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Player Diary: Laura Jackson ahead of new season

Player Diary: Laura Jackson ahead of new season

Read the latest update from Laura Jackson ahead of the 2022 season...

It has been a busy few weeks for myself and the Thunder squad, that’s for sure.

We all loved our time on pre-season tour in Dubai last month. It was an absolutely amazing opportunity, and we crammed in as much as we could whilst we were there.

We were delighted to be making history yet again as part of the first joint women’s and men’s county tour, with Lancashire leading the way once again.

We had four T20 games against UAE women, and we drew that mini-series 2-2. We also had another game against the UAE boys - a mixture of age-groups. We lost that, but we took it close and put up a good fight.

It’s something which is said so often in pre-season. Results are by no means the most important thing at this time of year. And while we were trying our best to win, we were also seeing what partnerships and combinations would work for us with bat and ball.

Personally, I’m feeling really confident with my game at the minute and am glad that everything from the winter has come together.

I opened the bowling in every game in Dubai, did well, and I also got to bat up the order and scored some runs and held my own. I’m pleased with how things went and can’t wait to take it into the season.

Phoebe Graham was my partner with the new ball on tour, and we were working well together.

We have been told we could form a lethal combination this year. We are different bowlers, but I think we complement each other quite well.

I swing the ball in and go after the batter, and Phoebe holds line superbly and hits a really good length. Between us, we try not to let the batters settle.

We don’t know, things may change when Kate Cross is back with us after England duty. But she should make our bowling attack even more lethal!

Upon returning home, it was announced that Thunder and the Manchester United women’s team had formed a partnership to help grow women’s sport in the North West.

This summer, they will be attending one of our Charlotte Edwards Cup games, and we attended their Women’s Super League game against Everton the Sunday before last.

I think it’s a great partnership because both our teams are fairly new to the professional era of sport, and we can learn a lot from each other.

I also expect to see a good crossover of supporters as well because, I feel, if you’re a follower of women’s sport, you can enjoy all the different sports.

I will let you into a little secret, though. I got quite a lot of stick on social media and from my family after being spotted at Man U’s ground. In fact, my family were close to disowning me!

I was interviewed on MUTV and was dreading the question, ‘Which team do you support?’

I managed to keep it all under wraps, but no longer. I’m a Liverpool season ticket holder all the way.

We finally managed to complete my charity walk up Coniston Old Man this weekend, in support of Sarcoidosis UK, the condition my mum is dealing with.

Most of the Thunder squad came along with me and my family, and it was such a good day.

It’s a very tough walk, and I didn’t realise how steep it was. We certainly needed a few breaks to catch our breath. There were certainly a few of us booking in for the physio’s bed on Monday morning, that’s for sure!

But there was so much positivity, and I’m grateful for everyone who got involved. We’ve raised around £8,350 at the moment. I’d love to get to £8,500.

How England bounced back from a slow start to the World Cup to reach the final was a real credit to them, and there’s certainly no shame in losing the final to Australia, who are an incredible side.

Sophie Ecclestone was amazing, and England have shown just what they are capable of.

There will no doubt be the odd change here and there, as there always is after big tournaments, but I don’t think a great deal needs to change. England are definitely a force to be reckoned with.

The new players for the Hundred were announced earlier this week, and we at the Manchester Originals are getting Deandra Dottin, Amy Satterthwaite, Phoebe Graham, Ami Campbell and Grace Potts.

They are all great signings, and I’m just as excited about our chances of success with the Originals as I am with the Thunder this year. We are very confident.

With the Originals, we still have a good core of players who have played a lot of cricket together and know each other’s games inside and out.

But there clearly is more movement of players with the women’s teams this summer. That has come with an increase in the money on offer for players.

To move to a different team on the same pay maybe hasn’t been worth it in the past with the upheaval around living arrangements and things like that. But now it’s different.

It’s been really interesting to see where players end up and how they will impact that particular team. It creates more discussion points like the men’s game, and that’s exactly what we want.

To donate to Laura's cause, visit: justgiving.com/fundraising/laurajacko22

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