As the England team crashed to a disastrous Ashes defeat against Australia, an Oswestry schoolgirl gave thousands of spectators a dashing display of her own cricketing talent during the third test in Melbourne.

Eight-year-old Ella Dhawan, a pupil at Bellan House School, took to the pitch for a mini game of cricket at the world-famous MCG ground during the Boxing Day lunch break, just as England’s batsmen were battling to avoid the drubbing that cost them the series.

Ella and her family have been living ‘Down Under’ since last February, when her father, Rohit, took up a 12-month Fellowship with the Melbourne Orthopaedic Group. He moved there to develop his skills as an orthopaedic surgeon after passing his exams to become a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, (FRCS).

At home in the UK, Ella and her younger brother, Curran, play Sunday morning games at Oswestry Cricket Club. But since moving to Australia, the children have joined the juniors at Melbourne’s East Sandringham Cricket Club and this led to Ella being selected to play at the first day of the test match on Boxing Day.

Their mother, Terri, explained: “Ella was super lucky. She was asked by the East Sandringham coach if she would like to go to the Ashes and have a mini game at lunchtime with some of the other club juniors. They got to see the Australian and England teams warm up and saw them in the nets before the game started. Then they were given front seats to watch the match begin.

“Just before the lunch-break they went out for a warm-up and practise themselves. It was then that one of the TV commentators chose Ella and another girl to be interviewed about what they enjoyed about cricket and who was their favourite player. Ella replied “Ben Stokes.” The interview was shown on the big screen and lasted about three minutes. Then she went on to the pitch to join her team mates in the mini-match. She did some great bowling, took a wicket and scored a few runs.

"Ella was very excited to be chosen to represent her club. She wasn’t daunted at all about playing in front of nearly 60,000 people. It was a really memorable day for all of us and we were so proud of Ella, she did really well. It’s many people’s dream to go and watch the Ashes never mind go and play on the grounds!

“We were disappointed by the England team’s performance. They were out- played in every department – a very disappointing outcome.”

The family are returning to Oswestry shortly when Mr Dhawan completes his scholarship.

“Nearly a third of our time in Australia has been in lockdown,” said Mrs Dhawan. "It was difficult but there are worse places to be in lockdown. It was great when the restrictions eased and the cricket club was able to open up and the children were able to go out to play again. The great thing about it here is that it’s so social and family oriented."