Helsby High School student Sophie Ecclestone has a busy start to the cricket season.

She will travel later this month to Colombo in Sri Lanka with the England Women’s cricket team for a 12 day batting and spin bowling camp. Sophie, 15, is the youngest member in a party of 12, of which eight are already full England internationals.

The trip includes three 50 over one day matches against a Sri Lanka A-side. A tough winter programme has included monthly training camps at the ECB National Performance Centre in Loughborough with the England Development Under 19s squad. In addition, Sophie has been building her skills and fitness levels with circuit training, road running with a fitness instructor and fortnightly training at Old Trafford with Lancashire CCC.

Sophie said: “I’ve not met many of the other members previously and I’m looking forward to it. I can’t wait for the camp, as it’s a great opportunity for my development and a dream to play for England”.

Sophie started with Alvanley Cricket Club’s renowned junior section at seven years of age before advancement into Cheshire Women’s cricket. Her rapid progress has led to a two-year loan agreement from Cheshire Women’s side to Lancashire CCC Women, who this year will compete in Division One of the Women’s County Championship. She will be facing regular international players in the majority of games for the Red Rose County.

Helsby High School and the ECB have agreed that Sophie will be allocated a number of hours each day with the revision work that the school has supplied in readiness for her upcoming GCSE exams. The school are delighted with her progress and nominated her for the Cheshire West and Chester Junior Sports Achiever award category at a Gala Awards Evening at Hoole Hall Hotel, where she was a finalist.