One of Sussex’s brightest young stars has thanked Horsham Cricket Club for playing their part in her glittering career.
Tara Norris, 19, has had a promising start to her county career while also being selected for the England Development Academy squad.
The medium/quick opening left-arm bowler and middle/lower-order bat has had an interesting upbringing.
She was born in Philadelphia before growing up in Spain as well as being half Italian – as you can imagine there is a certain twang to her accent.
So how did Norris end up playing cricket in Sussex?
Speaking at Sussex CCC Women’s team first-ever media day, Norris said: “I moved to England 2006 and through PE at primary school I really enjoyed the lessons. I turned up to after school clubs and I was the only girl.
“Eventually I joined Horsham Cricket Club, who I am still playing for. I then got scouted for Sussex trials then England trials and progressed for them. The whole reason I have developed as far as I have is because of them (Horsham). They are the first club I ever played for and the only club I have played for.
“We have grass-rooted other players and now we play women’s cricket and are in the Premier League.”
Norris made her debut for Sussex Women three seasons ago and started playing for the county when at under-13s.
Norris went to sixth form at Portslade Aldridge Community Academy, where she was part of the Aldridge Cricket Academy for two years which helped develop her cricket further and aided selection for the England women’s development academy in 2017.
Norris, who played for Southern Vipers in the Kia Super League last year, said: “It was a fantastic experience. We played at Loughborough, one of the best facilities at the country and worked with the top coaches. It’s been really fun.”
And then in the winter of 2016/2017 she went to Australia, which she described as ‘phenomenal’. She said: “I definitely want to go back. They love cricket out there, it’s all about cricket. To be in those surroundings and to train outdoors all the time, which we can’t do here, is great.”
Norris’ target for this year is helping Sussex get back into Division 1 after their relegation last year. She said: “We want to be back up to division one, we want to dominate division two and win all our games and do the same in the T20 competition.”
Norris is currently at Loughborough University and works as assistant coach to Sussex under-12s where she’s helping develop the next generation of cricketers.