Witchford cricket starlet Millie earns Essex call-up

Cricket star Millie Oddi.

Cricket star Millie Oddi. - Credit: Archant

A promising young cricketer from Witchford has been selected to play for Essex Women.

Fast bowler Millie Oddi, 17, has been involved with the youth performance setup at Essex for the last three years but is set to make the step up to the senior women’s side when the season begins in earnest next month.

Millie will begin her debut season on May 1 when Essex host Wales in the Royal London Women’s Cup but she was given a taste of life in the senior setup when the women’s side joined the men for the annual press day at Essex’s home ground, in Chelmsford.

There, the youngster lined up alongside England captain Alistair Cook and international star Ravi Bopara for a photo shoot.

Millie, who has played regularly for Ely City Cricket Club in recent years, was first encouraged to take up cricket while at Rackham Primary School by head teacher Sid Wales, some seven years ago.

She said: “I was very much into all sports when I was at Rackham, and this was actively encouraged by Sid Wales, who at the time was the head master.

“I began playing kwik cricket in Year 3 and started playing for the 1st team in Year 4 and in Year 6 I was selected for the Cambridgeshire county side.”

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After leaving Rackham, Millie went on to study at King’s Ely, where her passion for the sport continued and she was eventually introduced to the coaching team at Essex.

She said: “Three years ago, Olivia Thorogood, head of girls sport at King’s, suggested that I went along to meet the head coach at Essex Women’s and girls. From that point on, I became a member of the Essex performance players squad and the U15 team.”

For her debut season, Millie is keeping her feet firmly on the ground but hopes to help her side achieve a top three finish in their division. Despite being a bowler, Millie would also like to improve other aspects of her game and is hoping to set a personal best with the bat.