JOB OPPORTUNITY: Women’s Cricket Maker (Oxfordshire Cricket)

– Are you passionate about getting more women playing sport?
– Do you have an interest in Cricket?
– Do you have the skills to engage women to go give Cricket a go?
– Can you make a difference?
– If yes, this may be for you!

Oxfordshire Cricket are looking for an enthusiastic Women’s Cricket Maker for the upcoming summer.

The job will run for 5 months, with the aim to give as many women as possible the opportunity to get a bat and ball experience this summer in a fun and social environment.

More details – including how to apply – are available on the Oxfordshire Cricket website, here: http://www.oxfordshire.cricket/news/womens-cricket-maker-wanted-18215/

NEWS: England XI To Play Ireland In World Cup Warm-Up

An England XI will meet Ireland in three 50-over games in the UAE in April, two months prior to the launch of England’s World Cup campaign.

The matches will take place on 24, 26 and 28 April and, while they will not count as “official” ODIs, they will serve as a useful warm-up for England’s players in the build-up to the world tournament, which launches on June 24.

Ireland, meanwhile, are clearly treating the series as an opportunity to blood new talent, with 7 uncapped players included in their squad: Aoife Beggs, Rachel Delany, Louise Little, Lara Maritz, Sophie MacMahon, Leah Paul and Rebecca Stokell.

Ireland squad: Laura Delany (capt), Aoife Beggs, Laura Boylan, Rachel Delaney, Jennifer Gray, Shauna Kavanagh, Amy Kenealy, Gaby Lewis, Louise Little, Lara Maritz, Sophie MacMahon, Lucy O’Reilly, Leah Paul, Rebecca Stokell, Mary Waldron.

England squad: TBC.

OPINION: Women’s Salaries In Australia – The Story… And The REAL Story

Give them their due, Cricket Australia really are the masters of media management. This morning we’ve seen the mainstream newspapers, not to mention some of the cricket press who really should know better, fall over themselves to laud CA over a one-sided press release which in reality is just another battle in their war with the Australian (Men’s) Cricketers’ Association (ACA) over the future of men’s salaries.

The press release proclaims an amazing leap forwards for the women’s game:

“Women’s Pay Set To Double” is typical of the headlines in the mainstream press; and this would be big news if it was news… but unfortunately that isn’t quite what it is.

The small print begins even in that tweet from Cricket Australia – this isn’t a deal, it is an “offer” made by CA to the ACA – the latest bargaining chip in the protracted round of negotiations over a new deal for Australia’s men’s cricketers.

For a few years now, the men in Australia… in an agreement based on a “memorandum of understanding” which totally excludes the women… have been paid based on a revenue sharing agreement – when CA does well, the men do well; and when CA win the lottery (as they have with the BBL), the men win the lottery.

CA want to ditch this deal, for reasons both good and bad – they want to keep back more money for CA itself, but they would argue that this will allow them to invest in the future of the game, and put aside grain for the lean years which will inevitably roll around one day.

Unsurprisingly, the men aren’t terribly keen on this, and through their union – which is what the ACA is – they are fighting tooth and nail to keep revenue sharing.

Today’s offer is an attempt by CA to cut through the Gordian Knott of the ACA’s intransigence on this issue. By bringing the women into it, and aspiring to double their salaries, CA make themselves out to be the good guys, and challenge the ACA to look like sexist dinosaurs if they spurn this latest offer.

And by releasing it to the media the way they have, CA also clearly hope to create a fait accompli – to make the deal almost impossible for the ACA to reject, because the media have already painted it as “done”.

If it eventually happens, and if the small print lives up to the headlines, then sure – it would be a game-changer. But those are big “ifs”; and the media are doing the women, who are being used as cannon-fodder in a cynical game of “blink” between CA and the ACA, a disservice in writing those headlines based on where we really are at right now.

Rising Stars: Up And Coming Talent From The England Women’s Academy, Part 2

Ffion Wynne continues her profiles of some of the top future England prospects.

(Catch up with Part 1 here!)

3. Alex Travers

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The great confidence of 16-year-old Alex Travers is remarkable for such a young age. Having played her county cricket at Surrey since the Under 11 age group, the winter of 2016/2017 has been her first in any England set-up, and her enjoyment in the squad is evident in her enthusiasm. “It was quite a big adjustment at first,” Alex explains, “but I learn so much from being around this environment, and I know exactly what I need to do to improve further from being here.”

She speaks highly of the set-up and the supportive nature of the coaching staff, demonstrating its importance in supporting the development of future England hopefuls. Similarly to Charlie Dean, Travers claims that the being a younger member of the squad doesn’t hinder the experience in the slightest, and that challenging herself against the best of her age will undoubtedly improve her skills.

Travers has also been included in the Regional Development Centre of the Surrey Stars, and is highly motivated to participate in the KSL during the next few years of her career. “It would be amazing to play in the Super League and I’d love to play for England eventually. Just from being involved in these camps over the past few months, I feel like I can improve so much,” Alex says.

Despite the high hopes for her future, Travers remains focused and is determined to keep enjoying her cricket as much as she currently does. Having made her way into Surrey’s first XI last summer, Travers’ clear enthusiasm for the game and willingness to learn will undoubtedly make her a regular performer this season, aiding her progression towards her KSL and England dreams.

4. Izzy Cloke

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Kent’s young talent Izzy Cloke concludes the trio of 16-year-olds, but this winter already marks her third in any England set-up. This experience is evident in Cloke’s enthusiasm and confidence, as she describes her aim to fully establish herself in Kent’s first XI this summer, after playing her first two games last season. “It’s a really strong team, which made it quite daunting to begin with,” Cloke says, “but Lydia Greenway was captain and she was really helpful in making me feel included. I bowled three overs on my debut at Arundel, which went really well and gave me a lot of confidence.”

Last winter, Cloke emerged onto the Development Programme from the Under 15s, which she describes as initially quite difficult as many of the girls were much older, and had been in the programme together for a while. However, Cloke also states that the supportive nature of the coaches cannot be faulted in providing a friendly and welcoming environment, where the correct amount of pressure is applied without being too overwhelming for the younger members of the squad. Alongside her England experience, Cloke trains alongside Alex Travers in the Surrey Stars Development Centre.

As she is currently studying for her AS Levels, Izzy is firmly focusing on her cricketing and academic future. “Loughborough is definitely one of my university choices,” she explains, “because I really want to stay on an England programme, and it would be useful to combine that with a really good course, but I am looking at quite a few others at the moment.”

Further along the line, Cloke does aspire to be involved in the KSL, as her experience as a spectator watching the Stars demonstrated its status as a great competition, and would really allow her cricket to develop further. With high hopes to progress into the Senior Academy over the next few years, Cloke’s positivity and the maturity of her attitude suggests that her cricket will continue to go from strength to strength.

Rising Stars: Up And Coming Talent From The England Women’s Academy, Part 1

Ffion Wynne profiles some future England prospects.

Towards the end of a successful summer, notably due to the emergence of the KSL, the England Women’s Pathway introduced a few changes to their system. For what used to be called the England Women’s Development Programme, the Academy aims to prepare young and talented individuals between the ages of 14 – 19 for the Senior Academy, the KSL and hopefully for international honours.

With the professionalisation of the women’s game firmly in place, alongside securing Sky Sports coverage for the next edition for the KSL, the future is looking extremely bright for the England women’s side. With this in mind, we decided to get an insight into the life of an Academy cricketer and catch up with some up-and-coming stars from the Academy to discuss their experiences in the setup and their hopes for their futures in the game.

1. Anna Nicholls

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Aged 19, Anna Nicholls is one of the Academy’s older and more experienced members, with plenty of Division One cricket under her belt for Middlesex already. However, with a recent move to Leeds to study Medicine, Nicholls has transferred to Yorkshire for the upcoming season and is hoping for first team selection in order to continue her progress at such a high standard.

A promising batsman and former pace bowler, Nicholls has been around the England set-up for nearly four years, when the Under 15 programme was still in place. “In the Under 15s, we only trained 3 weekends over the winter,” she explains, “but I’ve been in this development programme, which used to be the Under 19s, for a while now and we have camps about once a month plus a summer competition.” For Anna, the best part about the programme is being able to challenge herself against better players, and using scenario practice to improve her knowledge and tactics of the game.

In the 2016 season, her talent was evident from her selection for the Yorkshire Diamonds in the KSL, notably featuring in their final game against Western Storm. Nicholls speaks emphatically about the competition, and describes the incredible experience of being surrounded by such high profile elite cricketers, notably her teammate Alex Blackwell, and the importance of learning from them. The professional environment, and the amazement of Blackwell’s ability to create shots “out of nowhere”, succeeded in inspiring Nicholls immensely.

With an intense few years at medical school awaiting her, alongside cricketing ambitions, the future looks extremely bright for Yorkshire’s latest arrival. “There is definitely a challenge ahead,” Nicholls states, “but at the moment I’m just determined to push my cricket and medicine as far as they can both possibly go.”

2. Charlie Dean

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Hampshire’s Charlie Dean has been involved at the county since she was 11 years old, and now at 16, has started her first year in the Academy programme, having progressed from the Under 15 set-up the previous winter. Alongside the monthly England camps, the talented all-rounder trains several times a week with the Hampshire Academy. Despite being a younger member of the squad, she seems unfazed by the challenge. “The environment is really positive and friendly,” Charlie says, “and I think it’s actually making me a much better player being one of the younger ones. It’s good to challenge myself against the older and more experienced girls.”

Dean’s heavy cricketing schedule is boosted by her inclusion in the Young Vipers squad, the development centre for the KSL team. The squad trains every Saturday over the winter, preparing players for long term development into the Super League. With the vast amount of winter training for Hampshire, Vipers and England, it seems that Charlie has a very exciting and promising summer ahead of her. Such promise at such a young age suggests that her progress will develop immensely over the next few years, and with aims for reselection into the Academy before hopefully progressing into the Senior Academy, it seems Dean will be a vital asset to Charlotte Edwards’ Hampshire squad this summer!

NEWS: County Comings & Goings – Knight Steps Down At Berks; Hartley Goes Home To Lancs

Berkshire

All rounder Lissy Macleod has been appointed the new Berkshire captain. With Heather Knight stepping down from the role due to her international commitments with England in a home World Cup summer, Macleod was the obvious candidate to take over, having made over 100 appearances for the Beavers since her debut in 2008, with 14 fifties, 1 century, and 77 wickets to her name. Knight will continue to play for Berkshire where her schedule allows.

Lancashire

England spinner Alex Hartley has re-signed for Lancashire after 4 seasons at Middlesex. Hartley first emerged through the Lancashire youth system, but joined Middlesex to reboot a career which had appeared to be stalled at the time – a smart move, which ended with her being awarded a full England contract off the back of her international debut last summer.

Also heading to Lancashire is England Academy batsman Eve Jones, as the side look to avoid the fate they suffered last time they were promoted to Div 1, when they were sent immediately back down to Div 2 after 8 straight defeats.

Nottinghamshire

Notts – the other newly promoted county in Div 1 – have also been shopping, acquiring Jodie Dibble from Devon, Lucy Higham from Leicestershire and Megan Burton from Wales. Dibble dropped out of the national squad last year, and had a pretty indifferent Super League for the Western Storm; but she is only 22 and it isn’t beyond the bounds of possibility that Notts represents a way back for her to some day add to her one England cap.

Middlesex

Despite the disappointment of not winning a Super League franchise last year, Middlesex have taken the bold step of appointing Danni Warren as their new Head of Women’s Cricket, to oversee both the county and MCC sides. Warren made over 100 appearances for the county between 2002-2015, taking more than 150 wickets.

Having lost Hartley, Middlesex will be looking very much to youth this season, and have promoted both Gayatri Gole and Katie Wolfe from their U19 squad, as they try to improve on last season’s narrow scrape with relegation in Div 1.

Hampshire

Hampshire narrowly missed out on promotion from Div 2 last season, but it will be a different business down at the Ageas Bowl this year. With Charlotte Edwards and now New Zealand captain Suzie Bates also signed up to play county cricket in 2017, Hampshire are clearly making a big long-term play for a future in the women’s game, keeping their eggs in both the KSL and county baskets, ahead of the likelihood of further fluidity* in the structure of women’s domestic cricket in 2019/20.

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* We don’t have any inside info on this; but with the changes coming to The Other Game, we suspect the logical move would be to create parallel women’s teams, and if the Super League is still going in 2021, we’ll eat our own pizzas!!

Australia v New Zealand: Bowling Rankings – Teenage Kicks for Wellington & Kerr

Our bowling rankings, covering the T20 and ODI Rosebowl series between Australia and New Zealand, see a number of unexpected new faces in the leading positions: of the top 4, only New Zealand’s Holly Huddleston has played more than 10 internationals, and the “Hudd Missile” herself has played less than 30 – a number she now looks nailed-on to add to at the World Cup in England in the summer.

After an underwhelming WBBL with wooden-spooners the Adelaide Strikers, 19-year-old Amanda Wellington has come roaring back to the top of her game with 15 wickets, including a best of 4-16 to restrict New Zealand to just 113 in the 3rd T20 – a match-winning platform which the Southern Stars batsmen then proceeded to throw away in spectacular fashion, as they were bowled out for just 66.

New Zealand’s own new teenage sensation – sixteen-year-old Amelia Kerr – also took her best figures in a losing cause – 4-54 in the 2nd ODI. They weren’t just any wickets either, but included a set Meg Lanning and Beth Mooney (on 44 and 57, respectively) and Elyse Villani for a golden duck. Kerr also finished the series with the best economy rate of any of the leading bowlers – just 4.5.

Having made her Southern Stars debut in this series, Molly Strano played just the 3 T20s and already has an international fifer to her name – 5-10 in the 2nd T20. But guess what? That was also in a lost match, as Australia fell short chasing a Duckworth-Lewis adjusted target of 70 off 13 overs, limping to 61-9.

Player Matches Wickets Economy
1. Amanda Wellington (AUS) 6 15 5.1
2. Holly Huddleston (NZ) 6 11 4.7
3. Amelia Kerr (NZ) 4 6 4.5
4. Molly Strano (AUS) 3 7 5.3
5. Lea Tahuhu (NZ) 6 7 5.3
6. Anna Peterson (NZ) 6 6 4.8
7. Jess Jonassen (AUS) 6 5 4.9
8. Ashleigh Gardner (AUS) 5 4 5.3
9. Kristen Beams (AUS) 4 4 5.4
10. Suzie Bates (NZ) 6 4 5.5

Ranking = Wickets / Economy

NEWS: World Cup Schedule Released – All The England Games

The ICC and ECB have this morning announced England’s schedule for the up-coming World Cup this summer, with the home side playing at all 4 “host” grounds – Derby, Leicester, Taunton and Bristol – during the round-robin stages; followed by a semi-final at either Bristol or Derby, and (if they get there, of course) the final at Lords on July 23rd.

England begin by hosting the subcontinental trio – India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. You’d think they’d have to be looking to win all 3 of those games to put themselves in a strong position for the tougher tests to come, when a slip-up somewhere along the line is probably inevitable. England certainly won’t want to be going into the last couple of games, versus New Zealand and the West Indies, with semi-final qualification in doubt, though that will possibly depend very-much on how evenly all those other results fall.

With everyone playing everyone else in the group stages, it is going to be a huge tournament – 31 matches in just 30 days – so whoever eventually lifts that trophy at Lords will truly have earned the title of “World Champions”.

England’s Schedule Match Venue
Saturday 24 June v India Derby
Tuesday 27 June v Pakistan Leicester
Sunday 02 July v Sri Lanka Taunton
Wednesday 05 July v South Africa Bristol
Sunday 09 July v Australia Bristol
Wednesday 12 July v New Zealand Derby
Saturday 15 July v West Indies Bristol
Tuesday 18 July Semi Final 1 Bristol
Thursday 20 July Semi Final 2 Derby
Sunday 23 July Final Lord’s

Australia v New Zealand: Batting Rankings – Meg Lanning In Not Top Shock!

She might be the best player in the world right now… she might have more ODI centuries than any other woman ever, after she passed Charlotte Edwards record 9 during this series… but for once Meg Lanning isn’t at the top of our batting rankings, covering the T20 and ODI Rosebowl series between Australia and New Zealand.

Instead, it is Amy Satterthwaite who rules the roost with the blade – she has been in spectacular international nick over the past few months, and after dominating New Zealand’s series with South Africa last October, she continued her rich vein of form here, including a match-winning century in the 1st ODI.

For the Australians, Beth Mooney had a break-out series, almost certainly confirming her ticket to England in the summer; but Elyse Villani was actually arguably even more important, with a big Strike Rate of 118, coming in a bit further down the order at 4 or 5, having usually opened in her international career to date; and it clearly worked, so you’d think this is probably where we are likely to see her batting during the World Cup.

Player Matches Runs Strike Rate
1. Amy Satterthwaite (NZ) 6 269 86
2. Meg Lanning (AUS) 6 237 91
3. Elyse Villani (AUS) 6 179 118
4. Beth Mooney (AUS) 6 232 83
5. Suzie Bates (NZ) 6 204 82
6. Katey Martin (NZ) 6 171 86
7. Alex Blackwell (AUS) 5 149 86
8. Rachel Priest (NZ) 6 146 74
9. Katie Perkins (NZ) 5 108 99
10. Alyssa Healy (AUS) 6 77 99

Ranking = Runs * Strike Rate

NEWS: 2017/18 Women’s Ashes Schedule Announced Including First Ever Day-Night Test

The ECB and Cricket Australia have today announced that the forthcoming women’s Ashes series will begin on 22 October 2017 at Brisbane, and will include the first ever day-night women’s Test match, to take place at the North Sydney Oval.

The format is identical to the 2015 series in England, beginning with 3 ODIs (worth 2 points apiece), followed by the Test (worth 4 points) and concluding with 3 T20s (also worth 2 points apiece).

Unlike on previous occasions, the decision has been taken to stage the entire series prior to the men’s Ashes, which begins on 23 November. This will make the North Sydney Oval Test the first ever day-night Ashes Test in either men’s or women’s cricket, as it will fall prior to the men’s Adelaide Oval encounter in December.

The series will take place across 4 venues: the Allan Border Field, Brisbane; the Coffs Harbour International Stadium; the North Sydney Oval; and the Manuka Oval, Canberra. These have – according to Cricket Australia Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland – been selected as the “result of a strategic decision to give this series the opportunity to gain as much exposure as possible”.

The full schedule is below.

ODIs:

First ODI – AB Field, Brisbane – 22 October 2017

Second ODI – Coffs Harbour International Stadium – 26 October 2017

Third ODI – Coffs Harbour International Stadium – 29 October 2017

Test:

Test match (Day-Night) – North Sydney Oval – 9-12 November 2017

T20s:

First T20 – North Sydney Oval – 17 November 2017

Second T20 – Manuka Oval, Canberra – 19 November 2017

Third T20 – Manuka Oval – 21 November 2017