Caroline Mary Ghislaine Atkins
January 13, 1981, Burgess Hill, Sussex
Right hand bat
Caroline Atkins is a natural talent, there's no doubt about that - an opening bat, she plays with the elegant grace and timing of a righthanded Gower. When she struck a world-record opening stand of 200 with Arran Thompson (now Brindle) in Lucknow in 2002 it seemed that her time in the England youth teams and in Durham's UCCE set-up had paid off, and moreover that her future was set.
But then came a spell of bad form which endured a whopping four years - she was perceived to be too slow at scoring her runs. Although naturally talented, she has had to work hard at her game - becoming more aggressive with her shot selection and expanding her repertoire to boot. A determined character, she repaid the faith of yet another specialist coaching centre - this time as part of the MCC Young Cricketers scheme - and it was time well spent. "I was at the home of cricket every day," she says. "You can't help but hit the ball then." She returned in 2005 but really came into her own in 2008 - she averaged 50.53 from 22 matches between February 2008 and March 2009. Atkins scored her maiden one-day hundred against South Africa at Lord's in August 2008. Atkins played a big part in England's victorious World Cup campaign with three half-centuries and two century-stands with Claire and Sarah Taylor.
She began playing cricket at the age of 9 for Burgess Hill boys team in Sussex, going on to captain their Under-16 side.
Cricinfo staff May 2009
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