100-up for Lorraine

Lorraine Szczepanski reached a major milestone at the weekend.

When she took to the field in Somerset’s T20 match against Oxfordshire, she made her 100th appearance for the County.

Lorraine, who was presented with a special cap ahead of the game, made her debut back in 2011 and we caught up with her to discuss this impressive achievement.

“It’s incredible when you think about,” she said. “I got into the team when I was 15 when Somerset played at my home ground of North Perrott. It’s amazing how many memories I’ve made with the team. It’s been really good to see so many players develop in that time.

“Back then I just wanted to play for as long as possible. I didn’t really set myself any specific goals. I was young and fit and was doing everything that I could to play cricket. I think I was playing six days a week back then. I didn’t have targets, I just wanted to play to the best of my abilities.”

Is there one memory that stands out?

“I think I was 18 or 19 and Anya was Somerset Captain,” she explained. “We were playing Surrey and Nat Sciver-Brunt came in at number three. All I can remember is Anya being in my ear and telling me not to bowl it short because I’d end up going over the trees. I said: ‘okay, I’ll try my best’. I let go of the ball and got enough spin on it and I bowled her through the gate! I’ve never bowled a ball like it since!

“That wicket stands out but there have been so many highlights over the years. Getting into the team at such a young age was great and playing with the likes of Anya, Fran, Luffy and Jackie Hawker means that you learn so much. I was learning so much from those type of players every weekend.”

How does she feel about how the women’s game has developed over the years?

“I’m actually really jealous,” she joked. “The opportunities available at a young age are much different from when I was starting out. Now it’s a viable option to become a pro without having to be in the England setup. Girls now can become professional and cricket can be their prime job.

“With the Hundred coming in and Somerset winning the bid to have a pro team, it’s looking really positive for young girls who dream of becoming a pro. It’s great to see.”

How would she like to see the women’s game develop in the future?

“I would love to see the game not just have regional pro teams but replicate the men’s game with division one and division two with all of the county’s having professional women’s teams. That would give even more girls the chance to go for their dreams.”