Naomi Dattani featured in every KIA Super League match for Western Storm in 2018.
The 25-year-old played a major role in the team reaching their third consecutive Finals Day and we met up with her recently to discuss her first season with the Storm.
“It was a really good experience,” she said. “The group were really welcoming and I felt really comfortable straight away. I was then fortunate enough to play in all the games which was a real goal of mine.”
Having previously captained Middlesex, was the KSL a big step up?
“I would say so. The KSL is more professional when it comes to training, nutrition and the way the games are run. You have to adjust to training every day, and being amongst such talented players really challenges you. It’s a good test because it challenges you to become a better cricketer.
“The KSL as a competition has been amazing. It’s a great platform for cricketers in general. You get the chance to play on Sky Sports and in front of big crowds which has helped to attract people to come and watch the women’s game. It’s really taken off too. To see crowds in their thousands watching some of the games has been really exciting.”
What was it like playing alongside the likes of Heather Knight and Anya Shrubsole?
“The knowledge and experience that they both have is something that you can’t get just anywhere. From a bowling point of view, seeing how Anya goes about her business really helps you to grow as a cricketer. From a captaincy point of view, seeing how Heather leads the team, manages people and integrates with the team is something that I will certainly take away from the experience.”
What do you do when your not playing for Western Storm?
“I’m a sports coach at a high school and at various cricket clubs. I also do some private one to one coaching. I really enjoy coaching and the flexibility of the job means that you can fit in your cricket commitments as well.”
How difficult is it to fit cricket around your professional life?
“It can be difficult to fit everything in during the summer. Every day is like a new event. One day you’re coaching, the next day your training in Taunton, which is a two and a half hour drive away. Having some down-time can be quite difficult but I wouldn’t have it any other way because I get to play cricket, coach and develop academically.”
Where would you like to see the women’s game in the next five years?
“I’d love for county cricket to become professional so that it could become a viable job. Hopefully it will take off so that girls can travel the world, play cricket and not have to worry about a secondary job.”