We are beginning to put Girls’ Cricket on the Somerset map. Our girls’ team headed out this week to play in the State T20 Challenge, but last term they received some match training from an interesting source.
Will all the trademark fanaticism of a new convert, Luisa Ardill-Walker (our Somerset Girls’ Cricket co-Captain) set out to raise the profile of women in this sport. She thus conceived of playing a Staff/Student game, in the manner of the high profile game that the First XI play every year, but just for Women Staff.
Enter Ms Bronwyn Lee. Ms Lee though this was a good idea and immediately crowned herself captain of the Women’s Staff team. Now as the captain of the Staff Team (which I remind everyone is perfectly inclusive – we have women in it…), I felt that this was a little presumptuous.
I had the perfect solution – I’m a teacher, so naturally I devised a test. Ms Lee had to pass it to be awarded the captaincy. This she did in flying colours, complete with a cricket-jargon-rich email putting me well back in my place.
With the whirlwind enthusiasm for which she is famed, and joined in that enthusiasm by her (again self-appointed) vice-captain, Ms Jacinta Hyman, Ms Lee then set about rallying a team. Dubbed “The Wicket Sisters” and wearing shirts bearing that new motif, the Women Staff took on my girls’ team.
It was a great afternoon. Groundsman Pete prepared a wicket on the common and female cricketers took centre stage. A sizable crowd was drawn, with Mr Bassingthwaighte and the retired Mr Trethewey arguably being the most vocal. Women’s cricket was certainly the winner on the day, and the staff team took the chockies.
Thank you my female colleagues for making this a great event and for helping me to make women’s cricket part of the Somerset landscape. Thanks too to Ms Candice McKenna for her enthusiastic support of this event, and to Mr Bassingthwaighte who has always supported events like this that celebrate our place as a real community.