CRICKETER Jess Bird is aiming to make an impact this summer after a successful six-month spell in Australia.

The Essex women’s first XI regular, from Great Bromley, has just returned from playing for Wynnum Manly Sea Eagles in Queensland capital Brisbane.

The 19-year-old, batting mainly at number three, scored more than 600 runs from 16 matches to be joint second in the women’s grade cricket averages for the whole of Australia.

Wicketkeeper Bird helped guide the Sea Eagles through to third place in a 12-strong league.

She competed in 40 and 20-over formats, smashing an unbeaten 134 off 77 balls in a T20 match.

Bird said: “It was great over there and such a good experience for me.

“My game has come on a lot.

"I’ve learned to be more patient in my batting as I’ve tended to be a bit too impatient at the crease.”

She will be hoping to reap the reward in division two action for Essex in both the 50-over County Championship and T20 formats this summer.

The Essex 2019 campaign gets under way on April 21 with a home County Championship game against Middlesex at the County Ground in Chelmsford.