Josie Groves has been named in England’s ICC U19 Women’s T20 World Cup squad for the 2023 tournament starting in January.
“I was sat on my bed after school and a number came up on my phone” said Josie on how she found out the news.
“I almost didn’t pick up, but I’m glad I did because it was Richard Bedbrook telling me I had been selected into the 15 travelling to South Africa!”
“I don’t remember much after that, but I do remember running into the hallway after the call and yelling ‘guess who’s got a plane ticket to South Africa for the World Cup in January’”.
The tournament is being held at U19 level for the first time in South Africa and will see 16 countries competing from January 14 to January 29.
“I’m extremely excited to get going, and I’m looking forward to all the new experiences and challenges that we will face in the coming months. To have a shirt with my name and number on it alongside the 3 lions is a dream come true.”
Josie has played for Northamptonshire Women since the age of 11 and has progressed through the age groups to reach the national squad.
“Northamptonshire Women have played a huge role in this achievement; I have been given so many opportunities and the ability to try things out over the years which have helped develop my skills further.”
Northamptonshire Women’s Captain, Patricia Hankins, has been leading Josie since her very first match back in 2014.
“I am incredibly proud of Josie, it just goes to show that hard work and dedication does pay off” said Patricia.
“I know she will embrace this opportunity with both hands and put in 100% effort to make her family, friends and teammates even more proud.”
“I can see Josie going far in the not-too-distant future, whether that is in the regional game or with the three lions on her shirt. I wish Josie all the luck in the world.”
Having made her debut for the Northamptonshire Womens 1st Team in 2019 as a 14-year-old, Josie has gone from strength to strength and is now a regular starter for Loughborough Lightning and was named Northamptonshire Girls Pathway player of the year 2021.
As well as her captain, Josie credited NWCCC head coach, Rob Mahony, with her progress.
“He’s helped me hugely at a time when my confidence was very low” said Josie.
“He took it back to basics and helped me overcome a lot of my mental blocks which has allowed me to play with more freedom”.
Rob Mahony commented: “She had a great season last year, being initially selected to play for Loughborough lightning academy, and then forcing her way into the Senior Lightning team and had some great performances”.
“Josie played a big part in winning the inaugural Sunrisers Festival for NWCCC this year, taking 7 wickets, scoring 95 runs in the final and being voted player of the tournament.”
“She’s been called up to be in the 15-player strong England Team and I wish her good luck!”
The U19 T20 World Cup starts on January 14th with England playing Zimbabwe, Pakistan and Rwanda on the 15th, 17th and 19th January respectively – with the final taking place on Sunday January 29th.