Scotland vice-captain Kathryn Bryce may have experienced great cricketing adventures in Australia and Sri Lanka already in 2017, but the 19-year-old is even more excited about playing on home soil in the World T20 qualifiers starting on Monday.
Ever since she came into the Scotland set-up when she was still at school the all-rounder has impressed those within the group and those watching from afar with her attitude, commitment and willingness to improve.
And last week she was delighted to earn her 50th cap during the Celtic Cup clash with Ireland at Forthill – and there is plenty more to come from her.
The last time I caught up with Kathryn she was about to jet off to Australia just after Christmas to learn from some of the best in the world.
She was one of eight Rebel Women’s Big Bash League Associate rookies selected and she spent a fortnight learning from world class players at the Melbourne Stars in late December and early January.
Kathryn then went pretty much straight to Sri Lanka to team up with Scotland at the ICC World Cup qualifiers – and she believes both experiences have helped her to grow up and push on as a cricketer in 2017.
“Australia was amazing. Obviously two weeks is not a long time to work on anything technical in training, but just watching how the players prepared for practice, how they used analysis to work on things for the next match and how they interacted with the coaches and team-mates was fascinating,” the former George Watson’s College pupil said.
“From there it was great to meet up with the Scotland girls in Sri Lanka and although we did not make it to the 50-over World Cup I think we learnt a lot about ourselves as individuals and as a group that we have taken into the rest of year.”
Kathryn has completed first year at Loughborough University and whilst down south she has also been furthering her cricket education by turning out for Warwickshire.
“The facilities at Loughborough are brilliant and it has meant that I have been able to keep up my gym work and get some indoor net sessions in while I have been adjusting to studying and moving away from home,” she explained.
“Scotland head coach Steve Knox spoke to me earlier in the year and thought it would be good if I could get linked-up with a county team to play as much high level cricket as possible.
“The environment at Warwickshire has been good and while there I have been opening the batting which has been a good test for me and taught be a lot about my batting.”
Now all eyes are on the national team and Kathryn, along with skipper Abbi Aiken and the rest of the squad, are keen to put on a show in Stirling in the coming days.
They are coming up against the Netherlands and the USA in the T20 format with two out of the three countries going through to the next stage of qualifying late this year or early next.
“What has been pleasing this summer is that everyone has managed to get a lot of cricket under their belts whether that be with Scotland, Scotland age-grade teams, counties or clubs up here and that has meant that everyone now knows their own role in the national team that little bit better,” Kathryn, whose younger sister Sarah is also in the squad, explained.
“We have played the Netherlands quite a lot and know about their players while the USA are a bit of an unknown quantity, but I think at this stage we just have to focus on ourselves and the job in hand.”