Gloucestershire pair Danielle Gibson and Natasha Wraith will join up with the England Women’s Academy this winter.

Dumbleton CC allrounder Danielle has been named in the full Academy squad while Frenchay CC wicketkeeper Nat is part of a 12-strong training group.

The two squads will train together at the National Cricket Performance Centre in Loughborough throughout the close season.

Dean Close pupil Danielle, 17, came though the Gloucestershire age groups before joining Wales last season in order to play a higher level of county cricket. A non-playing member of the Kia Super League winning Western Storm squad in 2017, she cemented a place in the team last year. The right arm seamer recorded best figures of 2-34 v Surrey Stars at the Cheltenham Festival and is named in the Women’s Academy for the third successive year.

Nat has been selected in an England Women’s training squad for the first time, having been part of the Western Storm regional development squads for the past two seasons. The SGS College student is playing her senior county cricket for Somerset in 2019 but will still represent Gloucestershire Under 17s.

Both players have been part of both the Gloucestershire Cricket Board boys and girls Emerging Players Programmes (EPP) and toured Sri Lanka in 2016. They were both a key part of the Gloucestershire Women’s side that won promotion to ECB Division 2 in 2017.

“GCB women and girls development officer Lisa Pagett said: “It is fantastic to have two girls who have come through the Gloucestershire pathway being selected for the Women’s Academy programme.

“Dani has been identified as a high potential player for some time and continues to develop year on year. 2018 was a breakthrough season for her in terms of holding down a place as a bowler in the Western Storm team and it is exciting to watch her development.

“Nat is a player who has always looked to push and challenge herself and is it great to see her reaping the benefits of this. She has been a strong performer in women’s county cricket for the last few years and I have no doubt she will benefit from the opportunity to train with the some of the best players in the country.”

Although both players are now playing their senior cricket away from Gloucestershire Lisa said that their continued development is a huge boost for women and girls cricket in the county.

She said: “We hope that seeing Dani and Nat training with the England Women’s Academy will inspire other Gloucestershire girls.

“Although we would love our best players to remain with us we recognise that for them to continue their development they may need to pursue opportunities elsewhere.

“It is a measure of how successful our pathway is that we now have a number of our girls playing a higher level of county cricket. The important thing for us is that they have all left on good terms and have all said they would love to be able to pull on the Glos shirt again in the future.”