Player Diary: Laura Jackson on the start of regional summer
Latest update from Laura Jackson...
The regional summer is underway, and the Thunder girls have been itching to get going.
We had a road trip to Hove to start with on Saturday, a disappointing result against the Southern Vipers. But there were definite positives which we could take and build on.
This week, we have games against the Northern Diamonds at Sale on Wednesday and Lightning at Leicester at Saturday.
It’s a busy start, but I’m excited to get a winning streak going, and it’s going to be a good summer.
It has been an interesting and hectic month for a number of reasons.
Firstly, I want to touch on what has happened to me personally. As you will all be aware, my mum, Lynn, has been fighting a battle with Sarcoidosis over the last few years.
We’ve been raising money and awareness of the condition, which I’ve written a lot about in past blogs. But she unfortunately lost that fight last month.
I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone in the Thunder team and at Lancashire. The support myself and my family has received has been absolutely amazing - incredible. It’s something we are so grateful for.
In terms of cricket, I have been playing my county cricket for Cumbria over the last month.
The Thunder squad was split up to play for three teams - Lancashire, Cumbria and the Northern Representative XI - in order to get us as much game time and opportunity as possible.
And I went to Cumbria to work on my batting more than anything. I was going to bat up the order in that team. Although there was quite a lot of travelling to do, I enjoyed it.
I think I’ve mentioned before that scoring quicker with the bat is something I’ve needed to work on.
In T20s, in particular, you’re pushed to score more runs, and the chance to work on that in games and work and play with some new people was good.
I’ve been in the Lancashire and Thunder set-up for years, and it was the first time I’d played with other people. So it was good to get a different perspective.
Scoring quicker can be a fun thing to try and work on. But it’s not just about giving it the kitchen sink. It’s about rotating strike as well.
A couple of weeks ago, I played in a game against the North East Warriors which I certainly won’t be forgetting in a hurry. Everything that could go wrong did, and it ended up being quite amusing.
It started with the unfortunate incident of our captain, Liz Priddle, splitting her webbing and having to go off to hospital, which meant that I then had to captain.
Then we ended up behind on time, and the umpires were shouting at me for that.
Then someone got a fly in their eye and another girl was so desperate for the toilet she needed to run off. So I only had 10 players on the pitch.
In the end, everyone saw the funny side of it, and I got the umpires on side as well. To top it off, it was a close game and we didn’t win!
Deary me, you might say.
Well, that brings me onto another incident which I ended up seeing the funny side of and will probably not be living down in quite some time.
Driving back home from the double header involving Cumbria, Lancashire and the Northern Rep side, a deer ran out in front of me on the M6 not far off the Blackpool turn off.
I was doing 70mph, and it decided just to run into the inside lane. I’ve now got a hire car for a month because it goosed my bonnet, bumper and radiator.
It wasn’t funny at the time, and I was a little bit stunned but physically fine. Everyone laughs at it now, takes me mickey out of me and keeps saying, ‘deary me’.
I’m not sure why though, because Shachi Pai was also involved in the incident as well.
She was driving behind me coming back from the same game, and after I stunned this deer she ended up driving over it.
Sorry Shachi, but I’m blaming you for finishing it off!
I went to Finals Day at Northern a couple of Sundays ago to watch the Lancashire girls win the County T20 competition, and it was great to see smiles on so many faces.
Although I wasn’t playing, knowing that many of my team-mates have gained confidence from winning and doing well, that also brings confidence to me ahead of the next few weeks.
It can be a big positive for Thunder because it’s so much nicer going into a tournament knowing that you’ve already won something.
It is back to Sale on Wednesday to play the Northern Diamonds, with whom the rivalry is a very healthy one - competitive, but friendly.
We all know each and have a lot of friends in their side. But we still want to beat them because, after all, they’re connected to Yorkshire.
Sale has been such a good venue for us, somewhere where we have done a lot of training as well as playing in a couple of games.
Boony, the groundsman, always gives us two fantastic pitches without fail.
There is lots of space in the changing room, there’s a good meeting room if we need that, the food’s always amazing as well.
Last season, George Franks, who is a photographer and is involved with Sale, took photos of us.
We’ve since signed those, and they are up around the club. They’ve made us feel so welcome there, and it certainly feels like a home away from home.