Women’s cricket is nothing new. The Frankston Women’s Cricket Club pioneered the game on the Peninsula more than 40 years ago, there were 14 teams playing in the Mornington Peninsula Cricket Association girls’ cricket competition last year and this year the girls hit the crease again with bats blazing. Kim Jackson is a general board member of the MPCA and director of girls’ cricket and gives us the ‘goss’ on why this traditionally male-dominated sport has got girls between the ages of 10 and 15 on the go. Whether off-side or leg-side, the nine teams that begin their second season after Christmas are keen, clean and ready to strike.
She explains. “Girls’ cricket has been in full force for about three years on the Peninsula. The only reason we have nine teams participating in the competition this time is that many of the girls have gone on to play premier women’s cricket and we are in the process of recruiting. Elly Donald, from Rosebud, and Lucy Cripps, from Baden Powell, have just gone on to play in the Victorian women’s side, while bowler Natalie Plane, from Pines, has played a season on contract with the Melbourne Renegades. There are real pathways for girls to make a career out of playing the game. There are competitions happening all around Australia.”
There are currently eight clubs on the Peninsula with girls’ teams: Baxter, Carrum, Carrum Downs, Heatherhill, Long Island, Mornington, Pines and Somerville. Games are played on Tuesdays from 5-7.30pm and the clubs are always looking for more players. Kim suggests dropping by your local cricket club if you want to start a girls’ team. It only takes one inquiry to get the ball bowling.
“Girls’ cricket has a two-fold purpose. One, we want to give girls a pathway to elite sport, and two, we want to get girls moving and making social contacts. Girls love getting together with each other and cricket is a great way of doing that. My father (Colin Bowes) used to be on the MPCA board and really pushed the girls’ cricket contingent. Now I intend to do the same.” There are many clubs and individuals working together with a very supportive MPCA board and Cricket Victoria to develop not just ‘girls playing cricket’ but ‘cricket players’.
The second season of the MPCA girls’ cricket competition runs through January, February and March. Get cracking on giving them the support they deserve and let’s hit a few sixes for girls’ cricket.