'Not just a sport for boys': How Lilly, 11, could be a future cricket star
PUBLISHED: 16:30 02 July 2019
She has already caught the eye of many with her first-class wicket keeping and batting skills.
And now Lilly Barbier has her sights set on knocking Suffolk with six with her cricketing talents after a masterclass with an international legend.
Lilly, 11, used to be a shy girl before she picked up a bat and took to the crease in pads and gloves.
But the sport gave her a new-found confidence, with the youngster soon earning a place as Suffolk county's first-choice under-11s wicket keeper.
Motivated by the recent success of the England women's cricket side, the Felixstowe resident now hopes to win places in higher squads and coach other youngsters in the future as well.
So recently she has been helped along her way with a masterclass from England star Jonny Bairstow, who taught her some extra tricks of the game on a visit to Yorkshire's Headingley ground.
The visit was organised by the children's cricket charity, Time to Shine.
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"I love cricket now," said the Kingsfleet Primary School pupil, whose biggest inspiration is England and Sussex female cricket player Danni Wyatt.
"I couldn't imagine not playing it.
"It makes me feel great because you know you've helped the team and the team want to help you.
"It's made me more confident because its helped me to make more friends and meet more clubs as well.
"If someone said cricket wasn't a sport for girls I just wouldn't listen to them. It's a sport for everyone, whether you're a girl or a boy.
"The England women's team are proving that right now."
Chloe Leveridge, Lilly's coach at Suffolk Cricket Women and Girls, said: "Lilly was quite nervous during that first session but then it just seemed to click.
"People started to tell her she was good at it and before we knew it, she was hooked."