Cricket: Heywood’s Olivia Thomas awarded Brian Johnston Memorial Trust scholarship

Date published: 15 May 2020

Heywood Cricket Club’s Olivia Thomas, who also bowls for Lancashire Women, has been awarded a scholarship this year by the Brian Johnston Memorial Trust.

The charity was founded in 1995 with one of its aims to offer promising young cricketers financial assistance to fulfil their potential at county level, in both the men’s and women’s game.

Thomas, aged 16, made her debut for Lancashire Women last year against Nottinghamshire Women at Carnforth Cricket Club in a Royal London One-Day fixture where she took 1/31 from seven overs, including the wicket of England international Jenny Gunn.

The young spinner has come through the Lancashire system where last year she represented the club’s U15s in the National Finals, the U17s to the National T20 final and made her Lancashire Women’s debut.

Thomas is the only female to have taken eight wickets in a competitive game for Lancashire, after breaking the record previously held by her Heywood Cricket Club colleague, Kate Cross.

Then aged 15, Thomas recorded incredible figures with her leg-spin bowling while playing for the Lancashire Women’s Under-17s side against Durham on 6 August 2019.

Thomas, a student at Siddal Moor Sports College, claimed eight wickets for 10 runs from just four overs – including a hat-trick – exceeding Cross’ record of 7-7 from seven overs.

She is also part of the Thunder Regional Development centre, whilst also being named in the England Women Training Programme for the winter of 2019/2020. 

Olivia's mum, Hayley Thomas, said: "I am very proud of Olivia for being awarded the Brian Johnston Memorial Scholarship. The award will help towards the costs associated with being a high level sports person and help Olivia to fulfil her potential. Both Olivia and I are very grateful to the Brian Johnston Memorial trust for the award of the scholarship."

Women and Girl’s Manager at Lancashire Cricket, Jen Barden said: “We’re delighted that Olivia has received this support from the Brian Johnston Memorial Trust.

“It can go a long way to helping young cricketers fulfil their potential and we’re all looking forward to seeing how she develops in the coming years.”

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