Cricket to bowl the maid­ens over

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - COMMUNITY NEWS -

WITH the ICC women’s world cup set to be one of the most ex­cit­ing sport­ing com­pe­ti­tions this sum­mer there will be a huge buzz around women’s cricket, and Bucks isn’t about to miss out.

For the first time, the Bucks Cricket Board has em­ployed two women’s cricket mak­ers to en­cour­age more women to join in soft­ball cricket fes­ti­vals around the county.

Anna and He­len have re­cently taken up a role with the Bucks Cricket Board un­der the ti­tle of Women’s Cricket Maker.

Anna first started play­ing cricket when she was five, catch­ing the bug from a makeshift in­door game on a rainy day at pri­mary school.

She joined her lo­cal women’s team – Che­sham CC – and worked her way up through the Buck­ing­hamshire County Age Group sys­tem to gain a spot on the Eng­land Women’s De­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme U15 Squad and the op­por­tu­nity to play an in­ter­na­tional match for Eng­land U19s.

She has won seven na­tional ti­tles, and now plays with Berk­shire Women and Radlett CC.

He­len’s story was slightly dif­fer­ent.

She got into the game via a work­place team play­ing mixed matches against other cor­po­rate sides. From there she joined Che­sham CC and es­tab­lished her­self as the wicket-keeper and a use­ful top-or­der bat­ter.

He­len took a short time out to have twin boys, and has re­turned to the sport, bal­anc­ing be­ing wicket keeper, bat­ter, mother and wife.

While they have had rather dif­fer­ent paths into cricket, Anna and He­len both get sim­i­lar ben­e­fits from the game: new friends and team­mates, a fun form of ex­er­cise and an op­por­tu­nity to be part of a rapidly-ex­pand­ing sport played on an in­ter­na­tional scale.

The ICC Women’s World Cham­pi­onships are in the UK this year with the fi­nal at Lord’s with eight top-per­form­ing women’s teams.

The Eng­land Cricket Board has launched a soft­ball fes­ti­val pro­mot­ing a fun, friendly, so­cial en­vi­ron­ment where be­gin­ners and re­turn­ers are en­joy­ing and learn­ing about the game. These will be held in July and Au­gust around Bucks and all will be free of charge.

If you are 16+ and in­ter­ested in en­ter­ing a team, group or as an in­di­vid­ual to the fes­ti­val, sign up through Women’s Soft­ball Cricket Fes­ti­vals, fol­low­ing di­rec­tions on the ECB web­site.

Groups/teams who regis­ter to­gether will re­ceive a free kit bag of soft­ball cricket equip­ment.

For more in­for­ma­tion, email Anna and He­len via crick­et­mak­ .

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