BRISTOL Phoenix star Alex Macdonald has been named in England Women’s Academy squad for their tour of Sri Lanka.

The 22-year-old all-rounder, who grew up in Alveston and now lives in Frampton Cotterell, has been at Phoenix since the club formed in 2008 from the female sections of Thornbury, Chipping Sodbury and Shirehampton, and was the third highest scorer in women’s county cricket while playing for Gloucestershire last year.

A left-handed batter and right-arm fast bowler, Macdonald will leave with the rest of the Academy squad next Wednesday with England set to play four T20s and two 50-over fixtures against Sri Lanka in Colombo.

Mike Collett spotted Macdonald when she was ten-years-old, playing for St Helen’s Primary School in a Kwik Cricket competition, and invited her to join Thornbury, where he coached her through the age groups before starting Bristol Phoenix.

“She hit a back-foot drive through the offside and I thought she could play,” said Collett.

“I’ve seen her progress through and do outstanding things.”

Collett, who is now treasurer at Bristol Phoenix, was not surprised by Macdonald’s call-up and believes she will be determined to break into the senior squad.

He said: “She’s very dedicated. Her work rate, work ethic and determination to succeed is second to none, and when you combine that with a lot of talent it’s not a surprise at all.”

The tour to Sri Lanka forms part of England Women’s ongoing preparations ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 competition in Bangladesh later this year.

Head of England Women’s Cricket Clare Connor said: “The tour to Sri Lanka presents an exciting opportunity for this group of players to gain some valuable experience of playing in sub-continent conditions, and represents a strategic part of our preparation for the 2014 ICC World T20 competition in Sylhet.

“As we saw at the ICC Women’s World Cup in India in 2013, the Sri Lanka Women’s side is improving all the time and they will provide challenging opposition in the six scheduled fixtures.”