New women's cricket team marks first successful season
- Credit: Supplied by Kathrin Milne
Members of a women's cricket team are hoping to build on the success of their first season amid a groundswell of interest in the sport.
The Aylsham Women's Cricket Team has won the top place in the B League of the newly formed Norfolk Women and Girls Softball League, which plays a form of the game with no pads, no hard ball and no heavy bat.
Kathrin Milne, who set up the team in May as part of the Aylsham St Giles Cricket Club (ASGCC), said they were thrilled with the success.
She said: "For a first season, this sets the team up to achieve even greater success in the future.
"The team currently has more than 15 members and it is inclusive and welcoming. Ages range from teens to those in their 50s, and interest is growing week on week."
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Practice sessions were held over summer at Aylsham Recreation Ground, along with several more formal coaching sessions with the Norfolk Cricket Board's women and girl's development officer Peter Free, and programmes officer, Jo Ticehurst.
Ms Milne said women's softball cricket was growing "exponentially" in Norfolk, and there was a push to reinforce cricket's status as an inclusive game for all - highlighted by the replacement of the term 'batsman' with 'batter' in the official Laws of Cricket.
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Ms Milne said recent events such as the the final of the inaugural edition of The Hundred, where a record 17,100 people watched a domestic women's match at Lords, and the cancellation of the England Women's Cricket team's tour to Pakistan, had also helped propel the sport into the spotlight.
Ms Milne added: "This year Norfolk saw the introduction of the first Women's Softball League, and the Aylsham women's team manager, Jeremy Cocks, arranged matches for the team throughout the season.
"The first WSL celebration day was held on September 12 at Sprowston Cricket Ground. The newly formed ASGCC Women's softball team was one of 16 teams who participated in the highly successful event."
ASGCC is now fundraising for a new playing surface for the use of the club's men's, juniors and women's teams, visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/project-safe-surface to find out more.