Thursday, 23 April 2015

Friday, 10 April 2015

Downton Replacement REALLY Matters To Women's Cricket

With the sacking of Paul Downton, there's been a lot of talk in the papers about what this means for English cricket... or rather, for English MEN'S cricket. But what about (ahem...) PROPER cricket?

Women's cricket remains a low priority for the mainstream media; some way behind men's international cricket, which is probably fair given levels of interest and attendance; but also behind men's domestic cricket, which is arguably a much closer-run thing - women's international crowds in England have recently been significantly larger than the average men's county gate.

But Downton's replacement really matters for women's cricket. Whoever it is, we KNOW they will be passionate about men's Test cricket; and we KNOW they will likely be deeply invested in men's domestic cricket, given that all the mooted candidates are ex (men's) pros. 

But will they really care about the women's game? 

When it comes to the difficult financial calls, will they push for additional budgets to be directed at England women... or to the equally-struggling men's counties? 

When they appoint committees, will women's cricket be fairly and equally represented? 

These are the questions that need asking from the perspective of the women's game; but will they be? 

I'm not holding my breath!

Sunday, 5 April 2015

"Jumpers For Goalposts" In UAE

England Academy are now two games into their battle with Australia's Shooting Stars in Dubai; and having seen the first game postponed due to a sandstorm, the England girls were no doubt delighted to take to the field on Friday and Saturday, in contests where the batsmen in particular might reasonably be hoping to be pushing for places in the Women's Ashes squad.

But the reality is that these two games have so far told us very little... not least because THEY HAVEN'T BEEN PROPER "REGULATION" MATCHES!

In the first game, England were bowled out after 44 overs; but batted on "off the scorecard"; and in the second match, England used 13 players; with the Shooting Stars having done similarly.

I can't help but feel that staging matches under these "Jumpers For Goalposts" playing conditions isn't ultimately very helpful; and is certainly scant preparation for the high-pressure cauldron of an ODI or Test innings or spell with The Women's Ashes at stake!

I'm sure the coaching teams "have their reasons" and these matches still have some significance... although probably not the significance captain Tammy Beaumont would hope, with the likes of Elwiss and Wilson perhaps coming into the England reckoning at her expense. But I do hope that this doesn't become the rule for Academy tours in future.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Westbury Set For Headline Headband Deal

Middlesex captain Izzy Westbury looks set to sign an exclusive merchandising deal with leading Welsh kit retailer Brecon and Llandudno Ladies' Sportswear [B.a.L.L.S.] to promote their signature range of sports headbands for women.

Bryn Griffiths, Marketing Director at B.a.L.L.S., told us:

"We are very excited about our new line of B.a.L.L.S. headbands; and as an enthusiastic wearer of headbands herself, Izzy would be a perfect fit for B.a.L.L.S."

He went on to say:

"B.a.L.L.S. come in a variety of team colours, including Middlesex Pink; and we think it would be fantastic to see a player like Izzy wearing pink B.a.L.L.S. on her head!"

Asked if he'd actually spoke to Westbury, Griffiths became cadgy:

"Technically... no... but we'd like to! Actually... do you have her mobile number? We tried to DM her on Twitter, but unfortunately she doesn't follow B.a.L.L.S.."