Funded by the Lord’s Taverners, the Scholarship is awarded to the best female cricketer in Australia who is 21 or younger and grew up in rural Australia. The scholarship has given Betts a rare opportunity to experience life as a professional cricketer abroad.
“Winning the Adam Gilchrist Scholarship and having the opportunity to play cricket in England, in different conditions is fantastic,” she said.
“Playing against players I don't know has been an eye opening experience.”
Progressing through the South Australian under-age cricket pathway, Betts, 20, debuted for both the Breezair SA Scorpions Twenty20 and limited overs teams in 2012. She has since become a regular member of the squad and her time in the United Kingdom will add further experience to the young cricketer.
“I hope to come back to Australia with more experience and knowledge of both my game and cricket in general.”
Betts has played well so far claiming two bags of five wickets this season and with a high score of 19 has provided lower order resistance. One of her favorite memories so far though hasn’t involved her own cricketing exploits.
“During a practice match a 70-year-old man walked onto the ground and stood there, fielding at cover, for more than seven overs!” she said.
Her local club, Hursley Park, has welcomed Betts to the fold and has made the transition to another country a fun and comfortable time.
“The club handle the cricket and social side well and try to get the most for their players which has been great.
“The girls are all really fun and happy to joke around and dance to a bit of Beyonce.”
In a time where women’s sport is gaining increased media coverage, Betts will take part in a historic match this week with the Hampshire County Women’s team playing as part of a double-header before the men’s team.
This is the first time that the county women have played at the Ageas Bowl venue as they face the Essex Women’s team.
Hampshire Squad v Essex Women: Naomi Lynch, Sam Betts, Rachel Carrick, Clover Crosse, Sian Edwards, Katie George, Becky Hartnett, Chloe Mickelthwaite, Alice Monaghan, Ellie Musson, Amy Page, Charlotte Taylor, Emily Windsor