“As part of the whole professionalization of the game, we’ve got to give opportunities. Hollie did a really good job last year. Hollie is the prime candidate to be our leader, personality-wise, skill-wise, experience. So you want to give her that chance," James Carr, Diamonds' director of cricket, said. "She’s still relatively young and not that long out of University. But she’s a very experienced cricketer for a 23-year-old."
“She had Lauren around at times, but she can’t develop as a captain if she’s only doing it for six games and then hands over the reins."
The 23-year-old Armitage said Diamonds' squad has a very good mix of experience and youth and that she always want to lead the side from the front as a player.
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“I’m really proud. It’s a fantastic squad - a really good bunch of girls with a lot of experience. That will make my job a heck of a lot easier. I like the responsibility. But whether I’m captain or not, I’d still want to be leading from the front as a player," she said.
“I want the girls to play with freedom. I also want them to know they can come to me at any time. While I might be younger than a lot of them, I’ve still got a lot of experience.”
Apart from Windfield-Hill, Sciver and Brunt, Diamonds also have the experienced former England cricket Jenny Gunn in their ranks. Armitage added that while it will be daunting to lead these players their experience will help her in taking charge of the side.
“That’s a little bit daunting in a way. But they respect that I’m still learning and will be helping me along the way," Armitage said. “I’m someone who’s not going to change. I’m still going to be Hollie Armitage, one of their mates who won’t shy away from the social stuff. I still want to enjoy playing with my friends.”
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We have an absolutely fantastic squad this year. From last year and making the final, we’re striving to come back with two trophies this summer. And we’ve got the talent and experience in the squad to do that. As long as we go out and play with freedom, we can achieve that.”
Northern Diamonds Squad: Hollie Armitage (C), Katherine Brunt, Helen Fenby, Phoebe Graham, Jenny Gunn, Bess Heath, Sterre Kalis, Beth Langston, Katie Levick, Alex MacDonald, Natalie Sciver, Linsey Smith, Lauren Winfield-Hill