Bright future for women’s cricket in Australia

The Hobart Hurricanes played their first Women’s Big Bash League games at Bellerive’s Blundstone Arena over the weekend. The women had a solid win over the Brisbane Heat on New Year’s Day to a vocal home crowd of around 4000 people, prior to the record crowd at the men’s game later in the evening.

After a disappointing loss to the now top placed Sydney Thunder, the Hurricanes currently sit second on the ladder and have three more matches to play before finals. They will be looking to get back into their winning form. Continue reading

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Beams rises to the top

The talk of the town at the moment is the Men’s Ashes series which starts tonight (Australian time). However, did you know that the Women’s Ashes is also played this month? The series kicks off on July 21 in the UK. For the Southern Stars, ODI and T20 cricket is the most common form of the game; however, the Ashes works on a points system and includes one Test match. It could provide an opportunity for three in the squad– Kristen Beams, Nicole Bolton and Jess Jonassen – to make their Test debuts.

For Beams, inclusion in the squad follows a very successful period of her career. Continue reading

Frocks, skirts and ‘rational’ pants – the evolution of cricket uniforms

There is a story in cricket folklore that suggests overarm bowling was invented by a British woman. Christina Willes, so the story goes, played backyard cricket with her brother, John, but got fed up with the way in which her bulky skirts caused her trouble when bowling underarm. Instead, she bowled roundarm to reduce the interference and, lo and behold, overarm bowling was born. Whilst I would love for this story to be true, unfortunately I can find no real evidence to support it. However, it is a very good illustration of how expectation around women’s dress has affected the ways in which we play sports. Using cricket as the example, we will see that women have been forced to wear particularly ‘feminine’ uniforms until very recently. Continue reading

The Girl Bradman – Betty Wilson inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame

Betty Wilson was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame last month. Whilst she was well known across Australia as the ‘girl Bradman’ during the 1940s and 1950s, you may never have heard of her. Even when I was a youngster playing in what was then the Under 19 Betty Wilson Shield, I have to admit to not knowing anything of the achievements of the eponymous cricketer herself. It is shameful to confess now, because her story is truly remarkable.

Continue reading