NEW Milton’s Charlotte Taylor has defied the odds after recovering from a cruciate ligament tear to fight her way back into the professional cricket fold.
After the injury in 2017, Taylor completed a rigorous rehabilitation programme before extensively working on her game. Her dedication has earned her a call-up to Women’s Cricket Super League side Southern Vipers.
Her journey back to full fitness was confirmed two weeks ago when she received a call from Vipers coach and former England captain Charlotte Edwards informing her she had made the squad.
The Southern Vipers is an English women’s Twenty20 cricket team based in Hampshire. They won the inaugural Women’s Cricket Super League and play home matches at the Ageas Bowl.
Taylor travelled to the Ageas to complete a series of checks including a Covid-19 test. However, at this stage, she was only part of the squad. Radio Solent’s Kevan James then asked if she would be his co-commentator for the up coming match against South East Stars. After agreeing, Taylor received another call from Edwards informing she had been promoted to the team.
Matchday came and the Vipers, batting first, scored 209-8. Taylor completed the innings by facing the final ball. She then returned superb bowling figures, taking two wickets for just 13 runs.
Taylor’s uncle Neil Taylor, who played cricket for Devon, said: “It is nice to have another professional in the family, and it’s brilliant to watch her show her skills.”
Both Neil and Charlotte’s dad, Steve, played together for New Milton CC.
Steve added: “We are all really proud of her and all her hard work to get back to the level she has. She earned the right to play in this competition, it’s much deserved.”
Since her debut, Taylor has gone on to play twice more for the Vipers. First against London & East Regional Women’s team Sunrisers where she hit an unbeaten
Her last appearance came against England captain Heather Night’s south-west England team Western Storm. The Vipers amassed 288-1 before Western Storm, with Taylor as the opening bowler, were all dismissed for
Taylor’s off-spin turned the game when she removed the dangerous Sophie Luff. She returned the day’s best figures, taking four wickets for 41 runs.
The win, which kept the Southern Vipers’ unbeaten record intact with one game left to play, secured their place in Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy Final at Edgbaston on 27th September.
Sky Sports will broadcast the match live.
Taylor will next be in action against South East Stars at Surrey’s Kia Oval tomorrow (Saturday) in the final stage game.