February 2020: Cricketing history made by girls

FOR the first time in its 175 year history, Ramsbottom Cricket Club has introduced a dedicated women’s and girls’ section.

The club is keen to capitalise on the increased interest following the success of England’s women’s team who won the World Cup in 2017 and were runners up in the World Twenty20 in 2018, and to be able to provide local female cricketers the chance to compete in leagues.

Chairman of Ramsbottom Youth Section Phil Croft said: “We have been running the All Stars programme for 5-8 year olds for three years, but after that there was nowhere for them to go apart from into mixed teams.

“This was something that was missing in what we were offering and we are really pleased to be able to introduce the new section.

“We now have girls’ training through the winter and will be able to enter teams in local leagues.”

Four members of the section are also Haslingden High School students and play cricket for their school.

Captain of the Ramsbottom indoor team Neve Harris, 14, said: “I have been playing cricket for five years now and I play in the under 15s team.

“They have set up the section to encourage more people to join and we now play in a league. Although we have been started in the lowest league, I am confident we will do well.”

For Beau Freeman, 15, cricket is a sport where being left handed can be an advantage.

She said: “I started playing in Year 7 and I found it interesting as I got to meet lots of people and whereas in most sports I have to try to play as though I am right handed, in cricket it can be useful being left handed.”

Playing cricket is in the genetics for Lola Marcroft, 11, as her dad Julian is a coach at Ramsbottom.

She said: “I started playing in Year 5 at Stubbins Primary School and my dad also taught me.”

Heather Kliszcz, 15, has been playing cricket for Haslingden High since Year 7 and also plays at Ramsbottom.

She said: “My whole family have always played cricket since I was very little.”