Ladies Debut At Edgbaston
Sunday 3rd June sees the first ever Women’s Cricket game at Edgbaston as Warwickshire’s Development XI take on a Yorkshire Development XI with all the history of Bears and Tykes matches likely to come to the fore – “no corner given” and all that stuff
Warwickshire’s side who in 2006 were promoted to the Liverpool Victoria County Championships will be a young side of 15 – 23 year olds which will epitomise the stage of cricket maturity that the Women’s game is at - here in Warwickshire. In 2000 Warwickshire was tasked with sending a side into the ECB County Championships and received a rude awakening as many other Counties and Associations had been to the fore for upwards of 50 years.
Indeed Warwickshire Women’s Cricket has seen a chequered history with a number of attempts to raise the profile of the game from 1940 onwards – its most well known club was Edgbaston CC who used to play their games in the nearby Cannon Hill Park until their extinction in the early 1990s. Its founding mother-figure was no doubt Rachel Heyhoe-Flint former England Women’s Captain and married to Derrick Flint former Warwickshire cricketer
Moving to the present day Warwickshire now has 13 clubs playing in its local leagues but 4 major clubs notably Moseley Ashfield, Moseley, Handsworth and Walmley which is mirrored by County representative sides at Under 11 13 15 17 19 and Development/Senior Level. This process has been undertaken over a period of 9 years from the inception of the Warwickshire Cricket Board in 1997.
Commencing with organizing a Senior team and working backwards down the age groups may seem a perverse way about engaging in Cricket Development but the platforms now in place ensure that any young female in the County can progress to the top via a vibrant coaching programme which is underpinned by schools competitions at Primary and Secondary level .
In addition to this the inception and progression of Women’s clubs in the last 5 years has seen a stronger base from which the County can draw upon and greater opportunities for County and Club players alike. Much of the development work culminated in the Under 19s County Side being victorious in 2005 in Cape Town in an International Tournament and it is hoped this will be repeated in the near future
Richard Cox Director of Cricket said “not only is this a fantastic opportunity for these youngsters to play at Edgbaston but hopefully a proud day for families and it will be of great interest to the spectators who will witness history in the making”