Ella Chandler interview: Vaccines, Vipers and me

SAM DALLING: In addition to showing for Hampshire within the ladies’s County Championship, Chandler has enrolled as a paramedic science scholar and joined cricket’s efforts to combat the pandemic, administering the jab to mates, household and strangers


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In order for you a job carried out correctly, ask a busy particular person. Like, for instance, Southern Vipers allrounder Ella Chandler.

On Saturday, her crew start their Rachel Heyhoe-Flint Trophy title defence in opposition to Lightning. Till then she is going to proceed to volunteer at a coronavirus vaccine centre, earlier than starting a summer-long work placement with the London Ambulance Service two days after the sport. 

“I not too long ago put up a giant calendar on my room to trace every thing that’s happening,” she says, laughing. “I used to be like ‘wow, I’m really fairly busy.’ I can most likely depend my days off this summer season on one hand though I don’t prefer to vocalise that! I want to be busy. As soon as I begin on with the Ambulance service it will likely be all weapons blazing, though I’m hoping to get the weekend of June 21 off: I’m down for night time shifts on that one!” 

Chandler’s use of the longer term tense suggests she’s been idle since final yr’s match. The reality is kind of the other: in addition to showing for Hampshire within the ladies’s County Championship, she enrolled as a paramedic science scholar and joined cricket’s efforts to combat the pandemic, administering the jab to mates, household and strangers at Basingstoke Fireplace Station. 

“I believed ‘nicely I’m not doing that a lot on the minute so why not put the few expertise I’ve discovered already on my diploma to good use,” she explains. “It’s so rewarding – I get to see so many various folks and listen to their tales. I by no means know who’s coming in and even had an outdated Hampshire cricket coach the opposite day.  

“And I have been uncovered to midwives, medical doctors, pharmacists, cabin crew – folks from all walks of life. Attending to work with them is absolutely enjoyable however can be there’s additionally a second hand profit to my paramedic coaching. I really feel fairly proud to be a part of it… contributing to the nation hopefully getting again to regular. It’s one thing a bit of bit good in what has been a garbage yr.” 

It’s not simply the final 12 months which have been eventful for Chandler. Far too modest to confess it, her bulging CV is far broader than you’d anticipate from a 20-year-old.

Rising up in Farnham she began at Aldershot CC.


Ella Chandler in motion in New Zealand

“There was by no means ladies’s cricket on TV once I was youthful so there wasn’t that publicity,” she remembers. “The one cricket I ever watched was my dad’s horrendous Saturday league video games. I simply received to type of tough round with them and the boys would bowl at me after the sport. However then I received alongside to Aldershot who already had a ladies’ set-up due to the superb work Malcom Kerry does with Probability to Shine.” 

Quickly Chandler was representing Hampshire in youth cricket, earlier than making her Royal London Ladies’s One-Day Cup debut as a 15-year-old in 2016. She began with 58 in opposition to Leicestershire and been an everyday ever since.  

Two seasons later a maiden Championship crown was secured, Hampshire having solely been promoted to the top-tier that yr. New Zealand star Suzie Bates was integral to that success and a budding friendship led Chandler to Canterbury in late 2019.  

Initially there to play for St Albans CC – a set-up that has nurtured 25 White Ferns over time together with three captains – inside every week, she discovered herself within the Canterbury Magicians squad for each the Hallyburton Johnstone Protect (50-over) and the Dream 11 Tremendous Smash (T20). 

“It was unbelievable – I solely anticipated taking part in membership cricket however I received invited to a few warm-up video games and coaching periods right away. Then two of the present White Ferns – Amy Satterthwaite and Kate Ebrahim – grew to become pregnant. They’re each batting allrounders like me.  

“They wished somebody who had performed at a half respectable degree to take their place and requested if I may decide to being a Magician for the yr. Clearly I jumped on the alternative. It was all very rushed however attending to rub shoulders with so many White Ferns and established home gamers was actually, actually enjoyable. Their T20 competitors is all on Spark Sports activities, and taking part in in entrance of 4,000 folks reside on TV was a incredible expertise. I had no background on the market so it fairly good to be judged on the right here and now. I needed to carry out or I used to be going to be chucked out!” 

The world modified on the finish of Chandler’s time in New Zealand. She had beforehand altered her flights to look in a membership cup last, that means she needed to wait till April for repatriation. On making it residence, Chandler occupied herself fruit selecting, whereas ready anxiously on Vipers choice.

“I keep in mind getting the e-mail from Adam [Carty] to say I’d made the squad – it was proper after a membership sport on a Sunday night. We knew we’d be informed that day and I’d apologised upfront to a couple of the women for being a bit off with them. I used to be certain I wouldn’t get chosen.  After which I came upon whereas nonetheless on the membership and there have been these mad celebrations. I used to be the primary skilled cricketer Aldershot ever had and everybody was so proud.” 

When Georgia Adams and Charlotte Taylor led the Vipers to final yr’s title, Chandler performed simply as soon as, though did make it onto the sphere for a short time throughout the last. “I stood at first slip for a few overs when Georgia Adams needed to go for a wee!  It was a incredible day and simply to be round that atmosphere nicely…there are many gamers who’ve by no means skilled a last like that.”  

And being Viper is about way over runs and wickets anyway.


“We’ve all skilled not having function fashions so we all know how vital it’s that we really be these figures,” she defined. “The ‘Vipers’ Method’ as we name it’s drilled into us and so it turns into second nature.  Those that have gone earlier than us like Charlotte Edwards and Danni Warren labored actually laborious, and now we get to reap the rewards of it.  

“There’s quite a lot of progress nonetheless to be made, however we’re quite a bit nearer to drawing degree with the likes of Australia and New Zealand. Ladies beginning cricket now have gotten relatable feminine function fashions. It’s so totally different to once I was rising up and is just going to get higher from right here.  

“You see within the Massive Bash and within the Tremendous Smash that the gamers keep behind lengthy after the sport to signal autographs. That approach folks begin to know who you might be as an individual respect you for that. That’s one thing we wish to totally embrace and wish to do nicely. We wish to be sure if folks wish to speak to us, they will.” 

Away from cricket Chandler has an equally packed schedule. A Torquay United fan, she performs for Woking FC and can be a certified referee. Nevertheless, she now not officiates, partially because of an absence of time but additionally due to an unsavoury incident in 2018. She was verbally abused by a supervisor and, disheartened by an absence of help from her native FA, she retired the whistle. She stays in soccer as a feminine ambassador for Ref Help UK, a charity which supplies help and recommendation to referees in any respect ranges.  

Her altruism doesn’t finish there: Chandler is actively concerned in Cricket With out Boundaries, working globally to mix cricket teaching with sexual well being schooling. By means of the charity Chandler has already visited Rwanda twice, flying out for her first journey on the day of her 18th birthday.

“We elevate consciousness of HIV and AIDS but additionally have a look at how we will interact and empower females via sport. It’s a match made in heaven –  I get to mix my love for cricket with my curiosity in healthcare.

“Rwanda is a rustic fairly near my coronary heart now and I nonetheless converse to quite a lot of the ladies on the market. Even whether it is simply sending them a few movies of what I’m as much as. I get movies again of them copying drills. It’s these small issues that may maintain the hyperlinks sturdy and that makes it actually, actually rewarding.  

“It’s such a small a part of my time and it could possibly create such a constructive atmosphere. You may see the quantity of change and distinction you can also make. We set up festivals the place they get to showcase their expertise on the finish of the week. Rwanda Cricket Affiliation, who’re ICC recognised, come alongside to that.   

“We do quite a lot of work supporting kids who take a look at HIV constructive, attempting to re-enforce the message that it’s okay as a result of there’s remedy and so they can stick with it a standard life. It’s an unimaginable charity doing superb work that goes below the radar a bit typically.” 

Forward of the Rachel Heyhoe-Flint Trophy, Chandler was a key a part of the Hampshire ladies facet that completed third within the Ladies’s County T20 South East Group. After beginning with a pair of defeats in opposition to Middlesex, they achieved back-to-back wins over Sussex, and victory over Surrey. The climate checked their momentum, inflicting each video games with Essex to be cancelled.  

“It’s a disgrace as we had been simply stepping into the swing of it. We had numerous expertise gamers however had been capable of mattress in quite a lot of youthful ladies who had labored actually laborious within the EPP programme at Hampshire. They had been simply beginning to discover their ft and we had been placing in some, actually, actually good performances. Towards Surrey we clawed again a troublesome begin to win. That was like ‘wow, Hampshire ladies are again’. That’s the degree we anticipated of ourselves. It could have been good to have carried on however really a lot of folks received to place some good performances.” 

On a private degree Chandler was in good contact, though was struck by a short-ball from Tara Norris in opposition to Sussex, and he or she admits there stays some apprehension: “It was vital to get again on the horse and never let that have an effect on me. I had a web with Lauren Bell this was and was nonetheless pondering ‘oh is she going to bounce me’. She is somebody who can nonetheless get it up at your head! I benefit from the problem. When you pay money for it,you possibly can hit 4 or six. I’ve been hit a few occasions but additionally hit it 100s of occasions. It’s all about threat versus reward.” 

And the bouncer is one thing Chandler has been coping with since a young person: “Once I was 14, I used to be taking part in for Hampshire in opposition to Surrey and Lea Tahuhu regularly bounced me for most likely 4 or 5 overs. She was the quickest bowler on the earth then and possibly nonetheless is: I used to be terrified. 


Chandler has been volunteering within the NHS vaccination programme

“Now that has grow to be a operating joke. I performed with Lea in New Zealand I performed along with her and Frankie McKay had spoken to Charlotte Edwards who had informed her about it.  It will get introduced up quite a bit: there are at all times giggles within the nets and anybody who bounces me is Lea 2.0. That may stick with me for the remainder of my life, though now it ought to maybe be Lea 3.0!”  

As to the longer term, the primary goal is for the Vipers to defend their crown. “We’re going to relish,” it she says. “We’ll go to each crew, each floor all weapons blazing. We have now a trophy to defend and we aren’t going to go down evenly.” 

Then, having tasted life as knowledgeable, Chandler’s subsequent activity is to win herself an ECB home contract.  

“It’s a cliche nevertheless it’s so good to be paid for one thing you like. That has been a purpose and I received a sniff of it in New Zealand. No one can ignore you in the event you’re scoring runs, taking wickets and making unbelievable stops within the discipline. It’s on TV and somebody will see it. You may be rewarded with alternatives in the event you do nicely. Now I wish to work actually laborious in order that I could make it within the UK as nicely. 

“Now you can have these aspirations to play professionally with out taking part in for England. Realistically England will not be going to occur for me however to have one other separate purpose that’s achievable actually encouraging.”

It’s little shock both that she is plotting a New Zealand return.

“I’ve already been researching paramedic roles on the market. I’ve received fairly an curiosity in helicopter emergency medication and so they do numerous that in New Zealand as a result of it’s unfold on the market. That might be cool!” 

“Full pace forward” she says earlier than heading off to a shift within the afternoon and a Hampshire Academy sport the subsequent day. Foot down.

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