Lord's Taverners Welcome Funding Boost For England Women
The Lord's Taverners have stated their support for the recent ECB initiative to increase funding for women's cricket and award the current England Women's team a pay rise.
Paving the way for the team to go professional, the money comes after the team, led by Charlotte Edwards won back-to-back Ashes series in 2013 and earlier this year.
The Lord's Taverners runs the Lady Taverners competitions alongside the ECB which are the UK's only national girls-only tournaments.
These competitions provide a framework to play at an informal and more competitive level, offering a clear progression pathway to local clubs and development programmes.
More than 110,000 girls have competed in the Lady Taverners Under-13 an Under-15 indoor and outdoor competitions with more than 6,000 involved last year.
Almost half of the current England squad and several England Academy players came through this route including Heather Knight, Anya Shrubsole and Sarah Taylor.
Former England international Ebony Rainford-Brent, now Cricket Programmes Manager at the Lord's Taverners, is delighted with the news.
"It’s fantastic news that the national women’s team has now turned professional, this is a massive breakthrough for the women’s game in this country and this backing will ensure that the standard and participation figures for the sport will continue to improve as they are now," she said.
"Big steps such as this would not have happened without the introduction of competitions such as the Lady Taverners girls only cricket competitions where I know a number of the current team started their journey to the top level, and its investment in competitions such as this that will see further sustained periods of success for the national team."
Lord’s Taverners Trustee and former England Cricket Captain Mike Gatting, added: "It’s great to see that the England Women’s cricket team have been rewarded for their fantastic efforts to win back to back Ashes series and I’m delighted in the modern era of Cricket that the team will be able to make a living off their abilities playing the game.
"It’s testament to the excellence of the grassroots programmes that the Lord’s Taverners and the ECB provide that a number of players in the recent Ashes winning team have played in the countrywide competitions.
"As a trustee at the Lord’s Taverners, I’m proud to have played a small part in shaping the women’s game and who knows, there could be a star in the making playing in one of our junior competitions right now."
© Cricket World 2014