England Women's Ashes Win Boosts Participation

England Women win the Ashes
England captain Charlotte Edwards lifts the Ashes after leading England to victory over Australia
©REUTERS / Action Images

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have released figures that indicate that England Women's Ashes success helped boost grass root participation among women and girls.

More than 60,000 women are now playing cricket with a total of 63,560 women and girls over 14 years old having played cricket in the last 12 months according to a new study of grass roots participation commissioned by the ECB's Cricket Partnerships team.

The survey also revealed that 68 percent of women would like to play more often and that 93 per cent of women aged 14 to 18 who play occasionally would like to play more cricket.

51 per cent of female cricketers rated Sunday as the 'perfect day' for cricket, 31 per cent went for Saturday while 40 over cricket (25 per cent) is preferred to 20 over cricket (17 per cent).

According to the figures, two thirds of women see cricket as a sociable sport and almost half said they first enjoyed the sport more than a year ago.

The announcement comes as the Chance To Shine initiative reaches its 1 millionth girl during the autumn term.

More than 983,000 schoolgirls have taken part across 7,000 state schools since the project was launched in 2005.

England players Charlotte Edwards, Lydia Greenway, Jenny Gunn, Danielle Hazell, Heather Knight and Susie Rowe are currently playing a major role in supporting the project through coaching, training teachers and delivering assemblies.

"Meeting the rising demand from women and girls for more opportunities to play the game in teams at every level is top priority for ECB and a key element of our new strategic plan, Champion Counties," ECB Chief Executive David Collier said.

"Over the last decade, we have made a very significant investment into women’s cricket and we are now reaping the rewards with the England Women’s team’s on-field successes inspiring even greater participation at recreational level.

"With more than 600 recreational clubs nationwide now offering cricket for women and girls and the Chance to Shine programme reaching more schoolgirls than ever before, the foundations of the women’s game are strong.

"Our task now is to ensure we are providing the best possible facilities, coaching and club environments at grassroots level so that even more women and girls can take up the game and experience the enjoyment that comes from playing the sport regularly in teams."

© Cricket World 2013

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