WHILE one England wicketkeeper flies home following an unsuccessful Ashes campaign another is arriving in Australia hoping she can succeed where a miserable men's side so noticeably failed.

Rainford's Elllie Threlkeld touched down in Australia last week as part of the women’s A squad who will tour Australia alongside the senior side, as they aim to wrestle the famous urn back from the old enemy for the first time since 2013/14.

And while poor form and injury has cut short Jos Buttler's stay down under, his Lancashire counterpart behind the stumps is in buoyant mood as she reaps the rewards for a fine season with the gloves for Manchester Originals in the Hundred and for NW Thunder in the Rachel Heyhoe Flint Trophy.

"After a tough winter and a tough few weeks of training I'm really ready to play some competitive cricket," said the St Helens-born 23-year-old. "I'm really excited to get going but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit nervous.

"I think everyone is always nervous about representing their country but it's more a feeling of excitement and I feel ready to compete."

As well as facing Australia’s A side in three T20s in Canberra and three 50-over games in Sydney and Adelaide, Threlkeld and her teammates will assist captain Heather Knight’s senior squad prepare for their multi-format Ashes series with a pair of three-day warm-up matches giving the wicketkeeper a chance to impress the selectors further.

"After the season finished I received a phone call saying I was going to be in the provisional squad for training at Loughborough," she said. "Then a few weeks ago they whittled that down to 12 and I was included which was obviously brilliant news.

"My glovework has been pretty consistent over the last few season but I also think my batting got a bit better towards the end of last season.

"Batting is something I'm really trying hard to work on at the minute and I think improvement in that area is what I need to do to get to the next level.

"These days, just like in men's cricket, you have to be a wicketkeeper that bats and I do think I can be more consistent with my run scoring."

With England's men having already lost the Ashes by the time the girls flew out, Threlkeld said there is a determination among her and her teammates not to let history repeat itself.

"No one likes losing do they? Especially not to Australia so I think it has made us more determined," she said. "I think the Aussies will want to do the same to us as they have the men so we have to be competitive."

Threlkeld is currently studying for a masters in sports psychology at Loughborough and added to her cricketing commitments to both county and country it's becoming increasingly difficult to turn out for Rainford in the Liverpool Competition.

"Playing for Rainford has had a huge influence on my career," she added. "It is so beneficial for girls to play men's cricket - it brings different challenges but it has been really good for my game especially my wicketkeeping.

"It has undoubtedly made me a better player and I still really enjoy playing with the lads when I can and when I'm back.

"They've seen the hard work that has gone in to my career and they're all really pleased for me.

"It's a great club and a great set of lads and they've done a lot for me and I'm very grateful for that."


England Women's A Fixtures

Thursday January 20: 1st T20, England Women A v Australia A, Karen Rolton Oval, Adelaide, 12am GMT

Friday January 21: 2nd T20, England Women A v Australia A, Karen Rolton Oval, Adelaide, 4am GMT

Sunday January 23: 3rd T20, England Women A v Australia A, Karen Rolton Oval, Adelaide, 11pm GMT Jan 22

Friday January 28: 1st 50-over match, England Women A v Australia A, Phillip Oval, Canberra, 11pm GMT Jan 27

Sunday January 30: 2nd 50-over match, England Women A v Australia A, Phillip Oval, Canberra, 11pm GMT Jan 29

Wednesday February 2: 3rd 50-over match, England Women A v Australia A, Phillip Oval, Canberra, 11pm GMT Feb 1

Warm-Up Fixtures

Saturday January 15: England Women v England Women A, 20-over match 

Sunday January 16: England Women v England Women A, 20-over match