RAINFORD'S Ellie Threlkeld is in the 21-woman Lancashire Cricket board squad for the 2017 season, which began last weekend.

Threlkeld is a wicket keeper and batter who started playing cricket at the age of nine.

She started representing LCB County Age Group at Under 11s and was captain of the Under 13s when we won the County Championship.

Part of the Under 17 team that won the Royal London Girls Under 17 County Cup last season, Threlkeld will continue to play in this age group this year.

She was named Lancashire's junior player of the year for girls in 2014 as a 15 year old.

Threlkeld scored an impressive half century playing for Rainford seconds at the weekend.

Lancashire's first team Captain Megan Fairclough from Egerton CC, Bolton has new recruits Evelyn Jones and New Zealand Women’s Amy Satterthwaite to offer strength and depth with the bat along with spin options from England Women’s Alex Hartley.

Home grown Lancastrian and England Women’s pace bowler Kate Cross will continue to add plenty of experience to the squad. Amy Satterthwaite, New Zealand and Lancashire Thunder player, is a major signing as the overseas player and will add a wealth of knowledge and experience of white ball cricket to the squad.

Additionally, LCB Women will have England Senior Academy players Emma Lamb, Ellie Threlkeld, Evelyn Jones and Sophie Ecclestone to offer good options with bat, ball and behind the stumps.

Four girls who have played in the LCB Girls County Age Group squads have graduated to the senior squad for the first time in 2017, these include fast bowler Ella Telford, batters Rebecca Duckworth and Evie Priestley and wicket keeper Georgie Holt.

Daniel Atkinson, LCB Women Head Coach, said: “All of the women have worked really hard this winter and are looking forward to the start of the outdoor season on Sunday. It really shows how many high quality senior women we have around the system now, that we can put out two strong teams on the opening day of the season with some of our senior internationals still away.

“I know the team are really looking forward to the season ahead and the challenges that it will bring and that competition for places will be fierce, which is something that we have aimed for, for quite a while.

“We are really excited to welcome our new signings and we hope to challenge in the top flight of both the Royal London Women’s One-Day Championship (Division 1) and NatWest Women’s County T20 (Division 1).”

Full squad including numbers: Megan Fairclough – Captain (4) - Egerton CC [Right arm bowler], Natalie Brown (10) - Sutton CC [Right hand batter], Eleanor Threlkeld (21) - Rainford CC [Wicket-keeper], Bhumika Doshi (14) - Egerton CC [Right hand batter], Nalisha Patel (15) - Horwich RMI CC [Right arm off spinner], Emma Lamb (6) - Bramhall CC [Right hand batter], Hannah Jones (7) - Didsbury CC [Left arm spinner], Jessica Couser (9) - Walmley CC [Right hand batter], Laura Jackson (22) – Maghull CC [All-rounder], Laura Marshall (12) - Lindal Moor CC [Right hand batter], Rachel Dickinson (17) - Burscough CC [Right arm seamer], Sophie Ecclestone (19) - Chester Broughton Hall CC [Left arm spinner], Kate Cross (16) - Heywood CC [Right arm seamer], Shachi Pai (18) - Egerton CC [Right hand bat].

New to the squad for 2017: Evie Priestley (25) - Todmorden CC [All-rounder], Georgie Holt (27) - Lowerhouse CC [Wicket-keeper], Rebecca Duckworth (26) - Penwortham CC [Right hand batter], Evelyn Jones (3) – Whitchurch CC [Left hand batter], Alex Hartley (8) – Clitheroe CC [Left arm spinner], Ella Telford (5) – Penrith [Right arm seamer], Amy Satterthwaite (11) – Overseas player (New Zealand Women) [Left hand batter and right arm off spinner].