Women’s game on upward trend and schools an important target – Anya Shrubsole
England World Cup winner Anya Shrubsole says women’s cricket is “definitely on an upwards trend” as she echoed the Lionesses’ calls to make sport more accessible to girls.
The pace bowler, who was instrumental in her country becoming world champions in 2017, was restricted to competing against boys during childhood.
England’s triumphant Euro 2022 footballers last week wrote a letter urging the next Prime Minister to give girls across the nation a chance to emulate their achievements by guaranteeing them a minimum of two hours of physical education per week.
Southern Brave captain Shrubsole, who on Friday begins this year’s Hundred against London Spirit, believes there is currently a “feel-good factor” around women’s sport and thinks targeting schools is key to maintaining momentum.
“When I was younger, I played boys’ cricket and then women’s cricket, there wasn’t really much girls’ cricket around, that’s just how it was,” she told the PA news agency.
“But you look around now and that just isn’t the case, so I think it’s come a really, really long way already.
“The volume of girls playing just wasn’t there and now it is, so it’s definitely on an upwards trend, it’s just a case of continuing to push that.
“In the same way that the Lionesses wrote that letter about making football accessible in PE, I’d love to see the same in cricket as well.
“Schools are a really important target, where everyone can get involved in the game.
“The feel-good factor is the real big thing. We had the experience in 2017 with the World Cup and it’s that feel-good factor around women’s sport that can really grow.”
Shrubsole – the first woman to grace the front cover of the prestigious Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack – retired from international cricket in April, having twice lifted the 50-over World Cup.
She helped Southern Brave top the women’s standings in last year’s inaugural Hundred with seven wins from eight before they lost the Lord’s final to Oval Invincibles.
The 30-year-old expects the standard of the competition to be higher this time around as her side prepare for a sold-out opener at the Ageas Bowl.
“We obviously want to go one better and we felt like we played really good cricket most of the way through that competition last year and then just fell at the final hurdle,” said Shrubsole, speaking at KP Snacks’ summer cricket roadshow at Westquay Shopping Centre in Southampton.
“That’s the way it goes with this competition, on any given day people have got players that can win a game.
“All of the teams are stronger this year, I think that’s only natural given the Australians and the New Zealanders being a part of this competition.
“And also the domestic players, lots of them have had just over a year of being a fully-paid cricketer and the level of the domestic cricketer in this country is so much higher, so I think it’s going to be really tight.”
:: KP Snacks, official team partner of The Hundred, are touring the country this summer to offer more opportunities for people to play cricket as part of their ‘Everyone In’ campaign. Visit everyonein.co.uk/about
India lose openers cheaply as Australia build on Steve Smith ton in WTC final
India were 37 for two at tea after Australia were bowled out for 469.
Australia’s Steve Smith racks up seventh Test century on English soil
Smith helped his side reach 442 for seven on day two against India at the Oval.
On this day 2011: England’s Matt Prior reprimanded over smashed window at Lord’s
Prior’s angry reaction came after he was run out on the final day of the second Test against Sri Lanka.
Jos Buttler hits half-century as Lancashire return to winning ways in the Blast
Opener Buttler hit 58 off 42 balls as the hosts successfully chased down 178
Jos Buttler believes Moeen Ali will thrive on return to England’s Test side
has not played an international Test for nearly two years.
World Test Championship
Travis Head lays down Ashes marker with blistering century against India
Head was the standout performer as the Baggy Greens racked up 327 for three.
Moeen Ali’s return makes England stronger – Graeme Swann
Moeen is poised to play his first red-ball cricket in almost two years.
World Test Championship
Travis Head hits quickfire 60 to give Australia momentum in WTC against India
Head was at his counter-punching best, reeling off 10 boundaries in 75 balls to push the pressure back on to the Indian attack.
England captain Heather Knight sets sights on landmark summer of Ashes cricket
Giant images of Knight and Stokes were beamed on to one of London’s best known sights as part of the countdown to the men’s and women’s series.