Central Sparks’ Lauren Rowles has received an honorary Red Cap in recognition of her coaching role with England’s Learning Disability (LD) side.

Lauren is Sparks’ full-time Talent Manager and works with youth development teams in regional county and club cricket to identify and coach stars of the future.

In February she was also appointed Head Coach of the England’s LD side ahead of an Ashes series in Australia and under the 30-year-old’s guidance the team won all three ODIs and four of five T20s during a hugely successful tour.

Now Lauren – a former Worcestershire captain who’s played women’s county cricket for 13 years – has received an ECB Red Cap to acknowledge her work with the England international set-up.

She said: “Just two years ago during lockdown, when cricket paused, I was working in a supermarket refrigeration depot – so to now be in a position where I’ve got my red cap and coaching an England team is incredible.

“It’s obviously an amazing honour. But the real inspiration for me are the guys around me in the England LD set-up. The passion, enthusiasm and commitment they show to cricket is off the scale so being an advocate for them makes me immensely proud.

“We’ll meet every few weeks as a squad to train during the winter – with most players training in between at county level – but that will ramp up next spring as we prepare for another busy summer and international competition.”

Lauren joined Central Sparks as coach in 2021 and is currently on the ECB’s Level 4 coaching course. That’s the pinnacle ECB coaching badge and opens the door for Lauren to coach at the highest level. 

Sparks’ Director of Cricket Laura MacLeod said: “We’re all immensely proud of what Lauren has achieved in a relatively short space of time. She’s already made her mark with England’s LD team and I’m sure she’s got a great coaching career ahead of her.”

Over 13,000 sold for Women’s IT20 vs Pakistan

Pakistan Women will be in Birmingham on Saturday 11 May 2024 and over 13,000 tickets have already been sold.

With the Men’s IT20 already sold out, this is your last chance to see Pakistan at Edgbaston next summer and tickets are available from only £17, with under 16s £5.