ENGLAND women’s cricket captain Heather Knight didn’t need asking twice when she was invited to become a patron of the David Shepherd Cricket Trust.
Knight has flown the flag with distinction for Devon on the international stage since making her England debut in 2010 during England’s tour to India.
The 25-year-old all-rounder should make her 100th England appearance in all formats of the game this summer providing she avoids injury.
Knight started her cricket with Plymstock, which led to a place in the Devon girls’ youth sides. Future England hockey international Giselle Ansley was a team-mate in the U17 team.
Knight said when approached by charity trustee Alan Swift about becoming a patron, she couldn’t turn him down.
“It was a no-brainer really,” said Knight, who was touring South Africa with England and bumped into Swift at Newlands, where he was with the Devon Development squad, also on tour.
“Alan was a teacher at my school and coached my brother Stephen.
“He explained to me that the David Shepherd Cricket Trust wants to do more work with women’s and girls’ cricket, something I am very keen on for obvious reasons.
“The Devon youth system helped me as a young player and I am keen to support the David Shepherd Cricket Trust and their work with young cricketers.”
Mark Ansell, the Trust chairman, said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Heather as a patron of the charity.
“We have always believed in the importance of women’s cricket and ensuring that more girls and young women play our great game.
“Working with Warren Carr we have already funded a number of programmes to support the development of the women’s game in the county.
“I am certain there is more that we could and should be doing.
“Having Heather on board will give us the increased focus and impetus that we need, and I believe it will mean that achieve even more with our limited resources.
“In Heather Knight and Chris Read as our patrons, we have two outstanding role models for young cricketers.”
Knight, a former Plymstock School pupil, become interested in cricket after watching brother Stephen playing.
“The necessary skills were practiced with dad outside the boundary while they were attending youth games,” said Swift.
“Heather continued her development via the club’s youth sides before being given the opportunity to play for the club 2nd and 1st XIs in the Devon Cricket League
“Mike Cherry, an experienced club cricketer with Plymstock and Exeter commented on how well she coped batting in the top order.”