Cricket has always been one of England’s favourite sports.
But now the male-dominated game is seeing an increase in female participation.
The Gloucestershire Cricket Board, which is responsible for the sport at grassroots level, is keen to see more girls and women playing.
Chairman Peter Jubb predicts that women’s cricket in Cheltenham will become more popular.
The GCB is looking for projects that can be worked on in the near future, hand in hand with the England and Wales Cricket Board, which wants to boost female participation.
Mr Jubb said: “There is going to be a lot done on the back of the 2017 Women’s Cricket World Cup. They see that as a real growth area.”
There are now 25 clubs in the county with at least one women’s team.
The three main leagues for women’s teams are: the Women’s 35-over league, Women’s 20-over competitive league and Women’s 20-over development league.
Other leagues and competitions include Girls U13 north and south divisions, Girls U15 north, Girls U11 and the Women’s T20 competitive league.
Alice Hill plays for the Gloucestershire County Women team, when asked about why she decided to play women’s cricket this is what she said: “I originally started playing boys cricket about 6 years ago when I was 10 but when I saw there were girls teams I could play for as well, I decided to do this as I find girls cricket more enjoyable”.
“The future of women’s cricket looks very strong – even since I started playing women’s cricket only a few years ago, I have seen it improve dramatically. Women’s cricket has much more respect than it used to and it definitely has a bright future”.
Alice enjoys playing women’s cricket and feels privileged to be able to represent the county, when asked about prejudice in the sport Alice’s response was: “I experience very little sexism/prejudice in the sport which is a very positive thing for women’s cricket.
Of course you get the occasional stupid boy who thinks it’s weird, but most people have realised that I’m not as bad as they would expect a girl to be“.
Getting girls interested in cricket from a young age is seen to be key.
Local clubs such as Hatherley and Reddings are beginning to broaden their teams and have recently introduced training sessions for girls aged five to seven.
This allows young girls the chance to find out what cricket is all about whilst seeing if it is a sport that they could have a future in.
To hear Mr Jubb’s thoughts on GCB initiatives aimed at girls and children, listen to the audio clip below: