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Central Sparks’ Meg Austin says playing in the first team’s 50 overs warmup fixture gave her an ‘insight,’ and it’s made her ‘want more.’

After playing the first half of the season in the academy set-up, and impressing, Austin was given her first taste of first team action in the Sparks’ 50 overs warmup game against the Sunrisers, a match in which Lloyd Tennant’s side were victors by 39 runs.

Speaking on her inclusion and what it was like to get the call, Austin said: “When I got the call from Daz [Darren Franklin, Academy head coach] telling me Lloyd [Tennant] wanted me in the squad, I was buzzing.

“I was also a little nervous, but I was excited to see what it was about to play alongside the likes of Jonesy [Eve Jones], Burnsy [Erin Burns] and Cambo [Ami Campbell].”

There are plenty of Sparks players who’ve made it through the ranks, and Austin will be hoping to join those in the weeks to come. Only just last month, Ellie Anderson made her first appearance in the first team, which was soon followed with a senior debut for Charis Pavely.

Austin is a batter, who bats high in the order in both academy, and Sparks XI fixtures, and she spoke on her intentions going into Tuesday’s warmup fixture.

The 18-year-old added: “My intentions going into the match were to just play my game and stick to what I’ve been doing throughout the season so far, as that’s what has bought me this opportunity.

“I also wanted to go and have fun, tap into the knowledge and experience of the pros within the team.”

Whether it be with the Sparks, or clubs elsewhere, every player starts somewhere and makes their way through the ranks. Austin has seen her teammates succeed at both youth and senior level, and after being given this chance by the Sparks coaching staff, she knows what needs to be done going forward to continue her development.

Sparks put up a big total of 328/7, and Austin scored (26) of those runs, from just 22 balls. On her performance, Austin said: “Because of the foundations set by the girls before, especially Eve [Jones] and her hundred, then KG [Katie George] and her quick 40. It allowed me to go in and bat freely.

“I batted at eight and overall, I’m pretty pleased with how I went about my business and I really enjoyed it.”

Sunrisers couldn’t get near the Sparks total, and eventually Tennant’s side won the game by 39 runs, prepping for the first game back in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy the way they’ll have wanted.

As the business end of the season awaits Austin and the Sparks, the Staffordshire County player has a clear aim, and she hopes to execute it.

The 18-year-old added: “My aim now is to try and break into the first team. I got an insight into what the environment is like, and it’s made me want more.”


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