Freya Kemp delighted to be back bowling for England after tough 18 months

Freya Kemp is revelling returning to a full role with England after a past 18 months blighted by stress fractures in her back.

An injury which commonly afflicts fast bowlers ruled the teenager out of last year’s T20 World Cup and a recurrence in December had restricted her to a batting-only role this season with England and Southern Vipers.

But the 19-year-old was back to all-rounder status in Saturday’s first T20 against New Zealand as she followed up an unbeaten 26 off 17 balls with one for 30 from four overs in England’s 59-run victory.

Kemp said: “I don’t think you can ever nail down one specific thing with a stress fracture, it’s always an array of things. It’s a really complex injury.

“I was thankful I could still play as a batter (but) it was nice to be back out bowling. I feel like it’s been a long, long time. It’s just good to finally get out there and do it.

“(Injury concerns) are always at the back of your mind but I’ve got a really good team around me. My workloads are being managed really well and going forward, that will be a massive thing.”

Kemp was one of just two seamers alongside Nat Sciver-Brunt at the weekend as England reinforced their spin bowling with the inclusion of Linsey Smith alongside regulars Sophie Ecclestone, Sarah Glenn and Charlie Dean.

Freya Kemp had been restricted to a role as a specialist batter until last week (Steven Paston/PA)
Freya Kemp had been restricted to a role as a specialist batter until last week (Steven Paston/PA)

The quartet stifled the White Ferns, with Glenn taking three wickets in an over, as the tourists settled on 138 for nine in response to England’s 197 for three, powered by Danni Wyatt’s 76 off 51 balls.

Kemp said: “Our three main spinners have played a massive role in our T20 side for so long and they’re amazing. It was really nice to have Linsey come in the other day.

“It changed my role a little bit but not massively. I just tried to focus on myself.

“They’re so good that they can work around you and they bowl some really important overs. It’s just good to have them in the team and how skilful they are is amazing.”

England’s emphasis on spin offers an indicator at what they will do on Bangladesh’s slow and low pitches at October’s T20 World Cup, with Kemp hopeful of making the cut for the 15-strong squad.

Ahead of England’s second T20 against New Zealand at Hove on Tuesday, Kemp added: “It’s obviously a massive aspiration of mine. It would be really important to me and I’d love to go.

“But I think there’s a lot of competition around the group which is really pushing everyone forward. It’s not a simple thing but I’d love to go.”