Cricketer having a ball

HANNAH Darlington bats and bowls and is having a ball.

She loves her cricket and that love has now received its greatest reciprocation in her young life.

The 11-year-old Erskine Park Public School student about to enter the big, wide world of high school is about to enter a bigger and wider cricket world.

Hannah has been selected in the NSW team that will contest the national championships in Victoria this month.

She’s come through an exhaustive process from school to region to Sydney West to state selection trials.

Where has this talent come from?

It’s innate, said Erskine Park principal Les Ridgeway, who answers to the description ‘‘sports-mad teacher’’.

‘‘She’s dedicated and practises hard,’’ he said.

‘‘She’s passionate about it and is a lovely child.’’

And as with all the ideal success stories from the public education system, Hannah has had the support of a dedicated teacher and family.

Mr Ridgeway said Hannah’s father Charles was a cricket man who supervised her training sessions.

Not being a private school, Erskine Park doesn’t have designated sports coaches.

So it’s fallen to a teacher and cricket fan, Jane Williams, to nurture cricket passions in the school. 

But the girl herself has mostly been responsible for her own top cricketing marks.

She was introduced to the game through Milo cricket two years ago, graduated to the St Clair Hawks as the only girl among the boys, and has now joined the girls playing U17s.

Her role model?

Elyse Perry, natch, which says something about women’s cricket’s greater profile.

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