How women's cricket is on the rise this summer on the coast
- Credit: Sheringham Cricket Club
Girls and women who have never held a cricket bat before are taking up the sport for the first time thanks to a new women's team in a coastal town.
As well as weekly training sessions at Sheringham's Weybourne Road ground, the club has taken part in two eight-a-side tournaments before July where they have come up against Horsford, Great Witchingham and Aylsham.
Commenting on the team's performance, captain Beth Cornell said: "We won one game in each tournament which we were really pleased with considering some of our team had never played before.
"There has been massive progress among the players and we have had one mum playing with her two daughters."
Sheringham beat Aylsham in both matches during the tournaments but lost to Horsford both times.
However, the team showed how much they had improved as they took Horsford to the final ball of the game second time around having been "absolutely thrashed" in the first game.
The captain described a "fantastic, family atmosphere" among the group which consists of around 30 players with a core of eight devoted team members playing every week.
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"We are starting to get a real buzz around the place," she added.
"You do not have to have played cricket before. We have opportunities for everyone whether they have never picked up a cricket bat and just want to give it a go or their daughter wants to play, for example.
"We are really thrilled to have a level two coach supporting us every week and making it a super positive environment which shows there are chances for girls to play the game as well."
The club is looking to run a taster hard ball event at Sheringham on Monday, July 18.
Matches during the tournaments are eight overs and typically last for around 40 minutes with the team coached by Sheringham men's second team opening batter Andy Boocock.
Sheringham Cricket Club chairman Adi Platt said: "It's been brilliant so far. Beth has put in a lot of effort and it has been the one part of the club we have lacked.
"It is great for the area of north Norfolk with new players taking part in games and training sessions as well.
"I just think it makes the club more rounded and it can only go from strength to strength."
It comes as women's cricket is scheduled for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games this summer.
Birmingham 2022 will not only see T20 cricket make its Commonwealth Games debut, but will mark a first appearance for the women’s game in the competition too.
Cricket has been played once before at the Commonwealth Games with a men’s 50-over competition held at Kuala Lumpur 1998.
Mr Platt said: "Obviously the women's game is getting televised and has more of a high profile as well.
"The Commonwealth Games will be on terrestrial television which can only be a good thing."
Peter Free, women's and development officer for the Norfolk Cricket Board, previously said at the beginning of this cricket season that the Commonwealth Games is an important moment for the sport.
He also said he would like to see more softball women's teams across the county making the transition to hardball.
The English Cricket Board released its new Generations Strategy which focuses on six key areas of the game from 2020 to 2024.
And the Norfolk Cricket Board selected one of these - ‘Transforming Women and Girls’ - as one of its own key priorities.
The women's team at Sheringham is on the lookout for a new kit sponsor.
Those interested should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Training takes place every Friday from 6pm to 7pm at the club's Weybourne Road ground in Sheringham.