CRICKETher was excited to be present at Finchley Cricket Club last Friday, April 17, for the official launch of the UK’s first ever range of women’s cricket gear – Cricket Deal Direct’s Heather Knight Cricket Collection.
The exciting new range features bats, batting pads, gloves, wicket-keeping pads and gloves, as well as kit bags. These high-quality products have all been designed and manufactured specifically for girls and women by SM.
England vice-captain Heather Knight is the face of the new collection, and was present at Finchley for the launch. Speaking exclusively to CRICKETher, she expressed her enthusiasm for the range:
“It’s quite novel to me to be the face of a brand, but it’s really cool to have my name on the bats! And it’s brilliant that SM and Cricket Deal Direct have chosen to invest in women’s cricket. They’ve noticed the growing game, and brought out a specialised range to represent that growth.”
There was certainly a buzz of excitement at Finchley on Friday, as Heather signed bats from her new range, then conducted a Q&A session with a group of eager young girls, who might yet be the England stars of the future.
England’s Heather Knight conducting a Q&A at Finchley
Here at CRICKETher, we loved the look and feel of the new range. And it’s great to see products which are aimed specifically at women, given that many female cricketers are still struggling with kit that’s been designed for use by men. Heather agreed:
“The bats are great. They’re not too different to your standard ranges, but a little bit on the lighter side, and the pads and gloves are slightly smaller.
“I remember when I was playing under-11s, playing with these massive pads and not being able to run! It’s massively important to get kit that’s right, and I’d always choose small men’s pads previously. So to have a specialised women’s size is ideal. I’ve tried them out and they’re the perfect size for me. I’m not that tall, so it’s good to have that need for women met.”
Another great thing about the HK Collection is the price. Cricket Deal Direct source their equipment directly from the manufacturer, which means they are able to offer customers extremely competitive prices; the HK Collection is no different. Bats, for example, start from £125 for the HK5 range; the top-of-the-range model which Heather herself uses, the HK Exclusive, costs £245.
And it’s pretty clear that Cricket Deal Direct know what they’re talking about when it comes to women’s cricket. They’ve proved themselves keen supporters of the women’s game since the company was established in 2012, providing sponsorship for several county players, including Middlesex’s Sophia Dunkley and Cath Dalton, who both used their SM bats to great effect last season.
This season they will be supplying the shirts, balls and stumps for the new Middlesex Women’s Cricket League, which is being hosted at Finchley CC on Friday evenings throughout the season, and is especially aimed at women who are new to cricket. They are also helping to launch a new women’s league based in Northants.
And, as Managing Director Ian Anderson explains, they are committed to expanding the Heather Knight Collection over the coming months. In particular, working closely with Heather herself, they hope to develop a range of cricket clothing specifically for women to complement the current products. CRICKETher will be following developments with interest, and will of course keep you informed when the new range hits the marketplace – hopefully by the start of the 2016 season.
For now, the Heather Knight Cricket Collection will be available to order online from early May, from www.cricketdealdirect.co.uk.