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University cricketer selected for England team South Africa tour

* 3 February 2004 *

University cricketer selected for England team South Africa tour

First year Rosalie Birch joins England women's cricket team on tour in South Africa.

First year Rosalie Birch joins England women's cricket team on tour in South Africa.

A University of Sussex cricketer has been selected to play for the England women's team on tour in South Africa.

Rosalie Birch, 20, is a first-year linguistics student at the University of Sussex. She combines her sporting ambition with academic endeavour, with the aid of a University-awarded sporting bursary.

All-rounder Rosalie has lived in Lewes for seven years and began playing cricket aged ten. She has previously played for the under-17s women's England team. Last year she enjoyed major success as a member of the Brighton and Hove Ladies Cricket Club when they won the National Premier League, and as a member of the Sussex women's county side, winners of last season's Frizzell County Championships.

The month-long South Africa tour comprises five one-day internationals against the hosts in locations including Johannesburg, Durban, Pretoria and Port Elizabeth. Rosalie said: "The tour is my main focus at the moment, I want to continue my success from the summer and be part of a winning team. It will also be the ideal precursor to the Women's World Cup in a year's time. It's a great opportunity to get warm-weather training and get an early advantage over our rivals. I'm really looking forward to it."

Rosalie's season promises to be an exciting one. As well as preparing for next year's World Cup, the England women's squad is set to play a new format - the new 20-over game known as 20twenty cricket - against New Zealand at Hove in August. This is the first time 20twenty cricket has been played at international level. The move is part of a range of innovative new playing styles being explored by the England women's squad, which is seen as leading the way in modern cricket.

Rosalie said: "To play at my home ground for England would be amazing. My ambition for the future is to play a major part in a winning World Cup team, and with it only a year away, that dream is coming closer and closer."

Luke Terrill, University of Sussex sports development officer and Rosalie's sporting mentor, said: "Rosalie has exceptional talent and will no doubt continue to be a huge success in the future. This summer she will be taking place in trials for the BUSA (British University Sports Association) national team. She stands a good chance of selection and the opportunity to play at international level among the best cricketers from the university sporting communities."

* Notes for editors *

  1. As an all-rounder, Rosalie is a bowler and middle-order batter.
  2. The tour commences February 5.
  3. A photograph of Rosalie is available as a jpeg from the University's Press office.
  4. Press Office contacts: Alix Macfarlane or Jacqui Bealing, University of Sussex,
    Tel. 01273 678888, Fax 01273 877456, or


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