Heralding the beginning of a new era for the sport in the territory, the Isle of Man Cricket Association will be establishing its inaugural national women’s team. As reported by Manx Radio, this news comes after a recent surge in the number of women and girls taking up the sport in the self-governing British Crown dependency.
This increase has meant that the association has been forced to make changes to the current infrastructure to maximise participation, including splitting the Under 15 girls development squad into two. This will create a U13s group and a full national side, which will be IOM’s first-ever female representative squad. In addition to the reorganising of the current playing group, open trials will be held to help identify the Island’s next generation of cricketers.
Schedule for November 1, the trials will provide an opportunity to participate in ‘some batting, bowling and fielding drills’ according to Sally Green, of the Isle of Man Cricket Association when speaking to Manx Radio, who emphasised that anybody wishing to participate did not require experience.
With over 150 female participants starting their cricketing journey over the past two years, the hosting of softball tournaments has definitely increased participation. According to Green, there have also been over 15 girls and women participating in the ‘traditional senior and junior leagues alongside their male counterparts’
Green also credited the increasing number of cricket matches being televised as aiding the Association’s development efforts..
The new squad will begin training over the winter to form the first senior squad from which, the inaugural women’s national will be selected, representing the Isle of Man at ICC events in due course.
Channel Islands leading the charge
With seven T20Is already under its belt, Jersey is also looking to the future with its women’s programme. With an average age of 17, a Jersey representative squad recently team travelled to Northern Ireland to play against the Northern Knights.
It may not be too long before we see the two young squads compete against each other in ICC-sanctioned internationals.
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