KATIE George has welcomed comparisons with Katherine Brunt, who she has replaced in the England Women’s squad for the forthcoming tri-series with India and Australia.

The former Mountbatten schoolgirl, from Romsey, admits she admires the feisty approach of 32 year-old fast bowler Brunt, who has taken 216 wickets for England but has been rested due to injury.

Katie, 18, said: “When I was growing up I would try to emulate her, she is someone I look up to and aspire to, definitely.

"I want to look at other people and learn from them but also I want to be my own person.”

Hampshire Chronicle:

Katherine Brunt

The Southern Vipers and Totton & Eling men’s all-rounder admitted she was not expecting the call-up.

“It came as a nice surprise - honestly it’s amazing, I’m really excited,” she said.

“Robbo [England women’s coach Mark Robinson] told me quite informally (of her selection), just as we were sat having a chat on the sofa.

“It’s a good opportunity for me to hopefully get a starting spot, and then we’ll see what happens.

“It’s going to be a great experience, I cannot wait to get started. I just want to knuckle down in training, and hopefully do the best I can to get a spot in the starting line-up.”

Katie has taken four Kia Super League wickets in eight matches at 29.75 apiece and last season was her first in the Southern Premier League for Totton & Eling.

She first played the game with her twin brother Tom, when they were 11.

Katie joined him at Old Tauntonians & Romsey CCs, where she was soon playing for the 2nd XI in the Hampshire League’s top flight.

She credits Hampshire Women’s coach Ron Hodgson for much of her development, which was accelerated as a member of Under-19s England Women’s Programme for fast bowlers in South Africa.

An all-rounder in every sense, she was an England U15 footballer before giving up her career as a goalkeeper/striker for Portsmouth Ladies FC to concentrate on her cricket.

Eighteen months ago, she told the Daily Echo: “I want to get in the England women’s side and the dream is to be the best bowler in the world.”

England kick off their series on March 24 with a game against Australia. They then play India on March 26, Australia again on March 30, and round off the league phase with a second game against India on April 1, before the top two sides meet in the final on April 3