Meet the Wildcats - Lorna Jack

16 Nov

In the final 'Meet the Wildcats' Gary Heatly spoke to wicket-keeper Lorna Jack. 

When she was in her early teens Lorna Jack was an expert badminton player and was on the cusp of international honours. 

However, one day she headed along to her local cricket club Ferguslie and has not looked back since. 

“I was around 13 when my friend convinced me to go along to a cricket session and I was not sure what to expect,” Jack, now 22, said. 

“I was used to training for badminton and playing in a lot of badminton tournaments and because I was mainly a singles player it could get quite lonely at times.

“Don’t get me wrong, I really loved it, but once I got into cricket I was hooked. I think I really liked the team aspect and the fact that you have to work together throughout the match to get the result you want. 

“There are also a lot of different skills to master in the game and that intrigued me. I think the fitness levels and hand-eye coordination I had from badminton really helped me early on while the boys in the junior section at Ferguslie made me feel welcome and part of their team.” 

A couple of years into her cricketing journey with the Paisley club, Jack was impressing coaches at a national level and was selected for a Scotland under-16 trial. 

“I was pretty chuffed with myself to get that far having only played the sport for a couple of years, but I have tried to learn all the time. 

“It is really good because the likes of Sam Haggo and Liz Priddle were in the under-16s set-up with me and now we are in the full Scotland squad together,” Jack explained.

Early in her career Jack, who now plays for Stirling County, was a bowler, but a number of niggling back injuries and a chance to put on the gloves led to her becoming a wicketkeeper.

Jack - who studied at the University of the West of Scotland after school - said:  “I was playing at under-17 level at that time and in a regional event someone got injured and I was the one to step forward and volunteer myself to keep wicket. 

“I did okay on that day and by the time I went to the next Scotland under-17 training session the coaches were suggesting that I should give keeping a go in the long term.

“It is quite a specialist position and you are involved in every single ball, but I enjoy it and have worked hard on the skills needed to play there. 

“You also get a great view of what is going on - field placings, what the batter is doing and how the bowler is doing - so you can be quite a help to the captain and the rest of the team. 

“You also have to talk quite a lot while you are out there and give the other players a lift - I really enjoy it.” 

Indeed it says something for Jack as a wicketkeeping coach too that Sarah Bryce - the under-17 keeper she has been helping out this summer as an assistant coach to that group - has progressed very quickly with the gloves. 

Bryce, 15, has done so well that she is now in the senior squad herself and as they prepare to head to Thailand on November 19 Jack said:  “It is great to see young players like Sarah coming through, I think the squad we have got together has a good blend and we are all feeling good. 

“We know we will be underdogs in Thailand, but we have to believe that we can do well because I know how hard we have all worked  to get to this stage and how much talent we have available to us.” 

You can follow the Scotland team's progress in the run up and during the competition on Twitter: @Wildcatscricket

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