Flora Johnston sets her sights on captaining England

FLORA Johnston has not only become the first Suffolk girls or women’s cricketer to score a century – she has set her sights on captaining England.

Flora, who is only 11, scored 103 not out for Suffolk Under-13s against Leicestershire at the Malvern Festival – and in doing so became the first player from any county to hit a hundred since the Festival started.

Opening the batting, Flora batted throughout the 40 overs and her innings contained 21 fours. She started the final over on 91, and reached three figures with a four through square leg off the penultimate ball.

Suffolk finished on 185 for five and bowled their opponents out for just over 100 to win comfortably, after losing to Cumbria and Worcestershire in their two previous matches.

Remarkably Flora, who started playing cricket three years ago at Easton CC, had a previous highest score of 29 not out!

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She said: “Before the festival I was hoping to score a fifty, but I was batting better than normal. I was more confident because I was determined to get there.

“Once I got to fifty I then carried on. I didn’t really believe I had scored a hundred until the next day!”

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Flora, who said she felt “very happy” to be the first girls’ or women’s player from Suffolk to score a century, added that her team mates all ran on to the pitch to congratulate her at the end of her innings.

“I thought I was more of a quick bowler than a batsman, but I am an all-rounder now,” added Flora, whose father Will played club cricket for West Isley in Berkshire before moving to Suffolk in 1999.

Flora, who has already played for Easton’s under-11 and under-13 boys’ teams, will be starting at Thomas Mills School at Framlingham in September, after finishing at Easton Primary School.

But she has already got her sights set on what she would like to do after leaving school.

“I want to be captain of England,” she said without hesitation.

It is perhaps not so surprising therefore to learn that Flora’s favourite player is the legendary Rachael Hayhoe Flint, who still one of the best-known female English cricketer to have played the game even though she retired from international cricket in 1982.

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