SOUTHERN Vipers and England bowler Lauren Bell is hopeful the momentum built during last year’s Ashes series will carry over and create another historic summer.

Bell was part of the England side that took on Australia across all three formats of the game, including a first-ever women’s test in England.

The 23 year old hopes the game will only continue to grow this summer, as Pakistan and New Zealand both tour ahead of the T20 World Cup in October.

She said: "It’s a lot of excitement. It’s growing and it’s new for everyone in the team, so it’s really exciting. It shows how far the game has come and we want to push it even further.

“The Ashes last summer was such a success and it has been the platform for women’s cricket to grow.

"We sold out crowds and there were so many fans there so it got a lot of eyes on women’s cricket and allowed us to show who we are as well as just cricketers.

“It wasn’t just because it was an Ashes series, they want to come and watch us play cricket.

"If we keep playing the same brand of cricket we’ve been playing for the last 18 months, hopefully, it will get even more people to come and watch.”

Daily Echo:

Bell took 3 for 22 in front of 12,000 fans at Edgbaston on Saturday as England began their summer with a comprehensive victory over Pakistan.

The Southern Vipers star is weary of the threats that the visitors possess in the rest of the three-match series but insists the English side is focusing on themselves.

She continued: "They are really strong, they have had some really good results. A lot of the time we focus on ourselves and not much will change for this series. 

“What I do best and what I want to do does not change because it is what I am good at. I will just make sure I know the players."

Bell also admits she feels lucky to play cricket as a job and wants to continue growing the game in the best way she can.

The seamer added: "I feel like the luckiest person, I have the best job.

“The fact I am myself hopefully inspires some girls to play. I am a lot girlier than a lot of the other girls, I like getting my nails done, and making sure my hair is perfect for games.

“That’s just how I am, that’s hopefully how a lot of girls may see me and think ‘Oh I can play cricket and get my nails done.”

England face Pakistan in the second match of the T20 series on Friday, May 17 in Northampton.

Lauren Bell was speaking on behalf of Metro Bank. Head to where you can discover more about the Metro Bank Girls in Cricket Fund, and help to champion the future of girls cricket.