LOUGHTON cricketer Catherine Dalton will become the first female from the United Kingdom to attend a famous camp in South Africa for some of the game’s brightest prospects.

Seventeen-year-old Dalton, who plays for Essex, will join the five-day camp at the University of Potchefstroom at the end of November, which is run by North West Cricket, for a series of 50 over matches, net sessions, video analysis, fitness training and sports psychology.

She is one of just 22 first-class and professional academy players from across the world that are taken on for the exclusive event.

Dalton is rated as one of the top 52 under-19 women cricketers in the country and, according to her coach Ian Pont, will endure an extremely vigorous examination of her skills during the camp.

“This camp will push all the players who attend to the limit,” said Pont, who helped set up the event back in 2007. “The facilities are excellent and the centre wicket is one of the best One Day International surfaces in world cricket.

“Over the past two years we have had county cricketers from England and international players so Catherine will find the standard very high and testing. But this is just another step in her development towards the England Team.

“It’s an amazing opportunity to measure yourself against your peers and above from Test playing countries,’’ added Pont, who is a former Netherlands international and Essex fast-bowling coach. “Last year we had a 90 mph bowler in Gerrie Snyman, the Namibian international. Catherine will be working, netting and playing with players like this so can only benefit.”

Some of the leading names in world cricket have joined forces with the camp to coach the players, such as India head coach Gary Kirsten and South African legend Graeme Pollock.

Dalton will fly out to South Africa on November 27, and she admits she cannot wait to get started.

“I really cannot wait,” she said. “It will the be the highest level of camp I have attended and the extra five days I am having with Ian will make this trip amazing. To have the chance to get coaching here is just fantastic."