Women's cricket: Claire Nicholas is excited by a second Superleague

Claire Nicholas
Claire Nicholas celebrates taking a wicket in the Super League Final between Southern Vipers and Western Storm

Welsh spin bowler Claire Nicholas says the second Superleague tournament represents another step forward for women's cricket.

Nicholas came away with a winners' medal after playing all seven games for Western Storm.

"The crowd on Finals Day (at Hove) was awesome, to have people supporting the women's game meant an awful lot to everybody," said Nicholas.

"Coming off the back of the World Cup made it all the better."

Nicholas, 30, the first Welsh player involved in the competition, played under England captain Heather Knight for the West Country-based franchise as they beat defending champions Southern Vipers by seven wickets in the final, having overcome Surrey Stars by three wickets earlier in the day.

"We had boys and girls asking for autographs, I've never had that before. Women's cricket in England and Wales is obviously on the up and it's a step forward in the right direction," she told BBC Wales Sport.

Nicholas played county championship cricket for Wales from the age of 14, but was delighted to step up to compete with and against international players.

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Super League: Matthews bowls Wales' Nicholas for a duck

She claimed eight wickets at an economy rate of 5.47, both figures second only to West Indies captain Stafanie Taylor in the Western Storm squad.

"To be part of the squad was a massive achievement so late on in my career, and to win it as underdogs was a great team effort, showing we didn't just rely on key players but performed as a team.

"I think my age is against me (for an England call-up) but if people were to ask, I'd love to have the opportunity though I have my career outside cricket as a primary-school teacher."

After transferring schools, she is starting work at Brynmill Primary School in Swansea.

She got married in 2016, previously being known as Claire Thomas, and has a ten-month old son, Harry.

"It's been hectic, with a new job as well, so it's been quite a busy summer for me!"

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