Player Diary: Laura Jackson on Sparks win, Commonwealth Games and The Hundred
To get that win against Central Sparks in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy has put a real spring in our steps as a Thunder squad as we break for the Hundred.
We’d got ourselves into a bit of a losing habit, which hasn’t been great.
There have been a few games of late that we could have won but just fell short. So it was just good to break that cycle against the Sparks, who are a really good side.
We have beaten some good sides. They had qualified for the Charlotte Edwards Cup final during the first half of the summer, and we also beat the Northern Diamonds, who have made three different finals in regional cricket.
We know we can do it. It’s one thing when you’re so far out of your depth, but we’re not. We’re a very competitive team. Consistency is the key for us now.
The great thing about that Sparks win was that it was a real team performance. It wasn’t just one person who did it, and they are the most pleasing ones.
Laura Marshall came back into the squad and contributed. She had a really good partnership with Ellie Threlkeld to get us up to a total of nearly 240 batting first.
We also had Emma Lamb back, and she got her runs - as normal. She’s superwoman!
We said that we just want to get some partnerships together in order to build those winning totals, and that’s what we did. And the bowlers bowled in partnerships as well.
To do it under the floodlights at Old Trafford gave us even more of a boost because we all love playing there. It’s such a special feeling which is hard to describe.
I’m really excited for the Hundred now with the Manchester Originals, which starts in a couple of weeks. We have some really good overseas players, and our England players are amazing. We also have some new domestic players involved, so we should have a great chance of doing well.
One of those overseas players is Deandra Dottin, who has been with us at Thunder over the last month. She’s had an amazing influence on the squad.
First of all as player, it was nice to have her expertise around. She’s a gun fielder who throws herself around. That’s shown the rest of us where we can get to. With the ball and the bat, she just goes for it.
As a character, well, she’s just hilarious. It took a week for her to come out of her shell.
I had all the girls round at my house for a barbecue when we played at Southport, and that was the night which brought her out. I must host a good party!
Everything she does, she’s just so funny. She just takes the mick out of everyone, which is what the rest of us do anyway. She fitted in perfectly in that sense.
The women’s Hundred doesn’t get going for a week to 10 days after the lads, and I’m a bit gutted about that if I’m honest. We miss two games, of which one is at Lord’s. And I’ve never been to Lord’s.
We start training late next week for those who aren’t in the Commonwealth Games, and then we have a few warm-up games after that.
To be involved in the England squad for the Commonwealth Games one day is something I would love to do.
Badminton is big in my family, and we went to watch that at the London 2012 Olympics. It was so cool. Everyone’s there for sport, and the vibe around an event like that is amazing.
I also heard Kate Cross say the other day that it will appeal to a new audience, people who have never really watched cricket but will do because it’s there on BBC.
Hopefully we can continue to raise the profile of cricket and women’s sport on the back of the football, which has been killing it of late.