Lauren Filer’s emphatic entrance to the international stage during the Ashes Test match has made her the breakout story of the summer.

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That explosive opening spell at Trent Bridge, however, tells only part of the tale. Four wickets at 37 apiece marks a creditable, but not statistically remarkable arrival. The identities of those four victims – Beth Mooney, Tahlia McGrath and Ellyse Perry, twice – gets closer to why she’s so exciting. But really, you had to be there, to see the speed gun creep up and up, with the best in the world rushed for pace, to realise England had something special on their hands.

“It was a big jump and one that I wasn’t expecting,” Filer tells “It’s been a bit of a whirlwind, but I tried to take everything in my stride and not look too far ahead. I tried to stay in the moment because I’ve dreamt of this since I was a kid. So the fact that it happened so quickly, I’ve just been trying to take it in.”

It’s been a rapid ascension to international reckoning. A year ago, Filer wasn’t on the peripheries of England selection. She signed her first professional domestic contract with Western Storm at the end of last season, having played two matches in the Charlotte Edwards Cup with one wicket to show. She was an ever-present for Welsh Fire, but had tournament figures of 2-113 as her team finished dead last in the table.

The longer format of the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy had been a happier hunting ground. She played all six of Storm’s games in the competition and took 11 wickets. Only five bowlers in the tournament took more, none of them from Western Storm. Still, at such an early point in her career, an England call-up seemed a long way away.

Yet, after a winter of hard work, she came into the 2023 regional season transformed, with express pace her calling card. She was catapulted into England’s plans thanks to a fiery spell in the nets at Nottingham. Having been called up to England’s pre-Ashes training group by England head coach Jon Lewis after he saw her get the better of Deandra Dottin in a Rachael Heyhoe Flint game, she quickly made an impression on England’s premier batters. After that session, several players told Lewis that Filer should be in their consideration for the upcoming series.

Despite going wicketless in a three-day game against Australia A, Filer was selected for the crucial Test against Australia. Naturally, the news came as a shock.

“I actually missed the call from Jon Lewis,” says Filer. “I got left a voicemail. But I was out in the sticks so I didn’t get it. I was in the car when I returned the call and it came through Bluetooth, me and my partner both looked at each other like ‘What?’ It was such a great moment though.”

A week on from the phone-signal saga, Filer was thrown the ball on the first morning at Trent Bridge. Her opening spell put her on the map instantly.

Australia’s surprise at Filer’s extra oomph nearly gave her the perfect start to her international career. Perry reacted late to Filer’s first ball and was rapped on the pads and given out. The reprieve on review meant she was able to go on to make 99, but Filer had made a statement.

“I knew it was going to be a challenge,” she says. “But it was a challenge that I wanted to take on and not think too hard into it because, otherwise, you probably would get quite overwhelmed.

“It was about trying to put pressure on the opposition but not thinking too hard about them and leading with our strengths. I know that, for me, I might bowl the odd loose ball. But trying to bowl quickly and with bounce is my key attribute. It’s about trying to use that in games and not overthink bowling a wide because it’s not the worst thing in the world when I’m just trying to bowl quick.”

It’s a mark of how much of an impact that spell made, and Filer’s subsequent effect on the Test match, that it’s gone down as one of the most memorable moments from an Ashes series which was rated in its aftermath as perhaps the greatest played in the history of women’s cricket. Filer didn’t play in the limited-overs portion of the series, but she had already left her mark.

“I was ecstatic that I could have any contribution to the Test, let alone the Ashes as a whole,” she says of her role in the series. “It was a great series, and it was remarkable to be a part of it. So the fact that anything from my bowling has been shown as one of the highlights is great.”

After being part of the squad that won the ODI series at Taunton, Filer settled into her new Hundred home at Lord’s with London Spirit. Having been a regular part of Welsh Fire’s side last season, the newly established draft shifted around the squads in the women’s competition this year, with Filer a case in point. Under the eye of Storm and England captain Heather Knight and alongside fellow new Western Storm England recruit Danni Gibson, that transition could be an important one for her international prospects.

“[Knight] is a great character and a great captain, it’s nice to have a familiar face here,” she says. “She’ll get to know my game more and more the more times we play with each other as well.”

Spirit’s campaign was derailed right from the start by a wet week in early August. Their first two matches were rained off entirely, and once they were able to get on the field, their batting unit lacked the explosiveness of others in the competition.

Filer herself also didn’t make the impact she would have been hoping for. In a side awash with all-rounders, she took two wickets in her five games. While the stats might not quite be there yet, on the eye and the speed gun, she looked like the quickest England bowler in the tournament.

The reward for that is selection in England’s ODI and T20I squads to face Sri Lanka this week. With Issy Wong struggling for rhythm, it’s an opportunity for Filer to solidify her edge in the selection race for the T20 World Cup next year.

17-year-old Mahika Gaur will also feature against Sri Lanka, as will Freya Kemp, coming back into the squad after a stress fracture. It’s a precarious but exciting environment to be in as a young England fast bowler at the minute, and with the hype that now follows Filer around, it’s worth remembering she’s only played one game of cricket for her country.

“I want to try and pursue as much international cricket as I can,” she says. “Hopefully in the next couple of weeks [with England] we can get a few wins in, and then we’ll see where we are. But making sure I’m in a good position with my game will mean I can get towards where I want to be.”