London, Dec 22:Charlie Dean credits England’s “no-fear” environment with putting her on the fast track to becoming an international match-winner after initially being overlooked for a domestic contract.
Dean, the 20-year-old Southern Vipers offspinner, made her international debut against New Zealand over the English summer, playing all five ODIs.
In just her second match at this level, she claimed 4 for 36 to help England to victory in a rain-affected match at Worcester, and she added three more before Heather Knight’s century sealed a nail-biting victory – and the five-match series – in the fourth fixture at Derby.
After being named in a 17-strong squad to tour Australia for the Women’s Ashes in January and February, Dean reflected on what turned out to be a whirlwind season in which she also became one of six players on professional contracts with the Vipers, having missed out during the inaugural round of deals announced a year ago.”It was a bit of a shock, really, to be told that I was going to be involved in the squad for the New Zealand series,” Dean told ESPNcricinfo. “The environment is so open and welcoming that I felt at home pretty quickly on and off the field.
“That team environment is something that really encourages people to show what they can do and there’s no real fear of mistakes, there’s just, ‘this is what we want you to do and this is what you can do, so go out there and do it’. “Whenever I play a game of cricket, I always want to influence the game, whether that’s in the field or potentially with the bat and to do that with my main skill is really a big confidence boost.
To be able to take four wickets in the second game really cemented the fact that actually, I can do this, I can perform on the big stage, and that definitely helped me in the next couple of games.”