Traditionally, it is believed that cricket, like football, is played mainly by men. However, this is far from the case: women also love this wonderful sport, participate in tournaments, win trophies and level up their skill level just as well as men’s teams. Moreover, in many things in cricket, women even bypass the stronger sex!
Women’s cricket is a separate art form that requires a detailed review. In our article, you will learn the history of the rise of popularity of cricket among women, as well as get information about some of the women’s cricket teams.
Women’s cricket: a brief history
First off, Women’s cricket is a form of team cricket played by women. The first recorded match took place in England on July 26, 1745, and we will analyze everything in more detail from that moment.
The history of women’s cricket has its origins in the report “The Reading Mercury”, dated exactly July 26, 1745. Then a large-scale match took place between the villages of Bramley and Hambledon near Guildford in Surrey. “The Reading Mercury” reported that it was the largest cricket match played in this part of England. It was attended by two teams consisting of eleven Bramley handmaids and eleven Hambledon handmaids. They wore exclusively white clothes. The first team was marked with blue ribbons, the second with red ribbons. At the same time, as noted by “The Reading Mercury”, the girls played as well as most of the men. It is believed that this event marked the beginning of Women’s cricket.
Now let’s go through the main stages of the formation of women’s cricket in individual countries:
- Women’s cricket in England. When the first women’s cricket match took place, you already know. It remains to be seen when the first women’s cricket clubs appeared in England. This event took place in 1887 in Nun Appleton, Yorkshire. The team was named “White Heather Club”. A little later, in 1890, the team known as the Original English Lady Cricketers toured England, playing exhibition matches with a large audience. Interestingly, the women’s team was very successful commercially. However, the team’s manager turned out to be unscrupulous and disappeared with a profit that the girls received for their game. Because of this, the team had to disband.
The next stage in the formation of Women’s cricket in England was the formation of the women’s cricket association in 1926. The first test match took place in December 1934 between England and Australia. The WCA lasted until 1998 when the responsibility for managing women’s cricket in England fell on the shoulders of the England and Wales Cricket Council.
- Women’s cricket in Australia. The founder of women’s cricket in Australia is Lily Poulett-Harris, who was born and lived in the state of Tasmania. She became the captain of the Oyster Cove team, which she herself created in 1894. Sadly, Lily Poulett-Harris died three years later, leaving behind a legacy of the start of women’s Australian cricket. Moreover, her team is considered one of the first created in the colonies. The Victoria Women’s Cricket Association was formed in 1905 and the Australian Women’s Cricket Association in 1931. In today’s world, competition between women in Australia is overseen by the Women’s National Cricket League.
- Women’s cricket in other countries. Let’s just briefly touch on the topic of the formation of women’s cricket in other countries. The International Women’s Cricket Council was established in 1958 to coordinate the sport. By that time, cricket was regularly played by female athletes from Australia, England, New Zealand, South Africa, the West Indies, Denmark and the Netherlands. Roughly speaking, having originated in England, it spread throughout the world. For example, in South Africa, at the beginning of the 20th century, there was the Pioneers Cricket Club, in which women played.
Now Women’s cricket surprises no one. Moreover, matches between women are sometimes much more interesting than between men. Women’s cricket continues to grow rapidly, attracting more and more cricketers and fans of the sport.
International Women’s cricket
Women’s cricket has gone international since the first test match between England and Australia in December 1934. The next year they were joined by New Zealand athletes.
The Women’s World Cricket Championships have been held since 1937. As of 2021, eleven tournaments in this format were held, and the twelfth will take place in 2022 in New Zealand. By the way, the New Zealand national team won this championship only once, in 2000. In other cases, the trophy was taken by the teams of England or Australia.
There is also the Women’s One Day International, a form of limited overs cricket. The tournament was first held in 1973. It is noteworthy that matches are designed for 50 overs, which corresponds to the rules of men’s cricket.
Let’s take a look at some of the more interesting national women’s cricket teams:
- England women’s national team. The team represents England and Wales and is administered by the ECB. The current captain of the national team (in 2021) is the Heather Knight. There is also a team from the Women’s Academy of England, but the level of athletes there is lower. The most interesting period in the band’s history was the 1960s, when they did not lose any of their 14 tests. In addition, the team won the BBC Sports Personality Team of the Year award in 2017.
- Australia women’s national team. Together with the British, this team stands at the origins of Women’s cricket and is considered one of the strongest, and according to many world ratings – the best. In 2021, their captain is Meg Lanning, and their coach is Matthew Mott. The team became world champions six times.
- Women’s national team of India. Given the popularity of the sport in India, this country also has a women’s national team. They even have a nickname – Women in Blue (understandably, this is due to the team’s corporate color). The national team made its debut in test cricket in 1976. The match took place against a team from the West Indies. During their participation in the Women’s World Cricket Championship, the Indian team took second place twice (in 2005 and 2017), but the girls did not get the trophy. As of 2021, the team captains are Mitali Raj (ODI) and Harmanpreet Kaur (T20I).
- Women’s team of the West Indies. Separately, I would like to touch on the popular women’s teams and those that continue to develop to achieve resounding success. The West Indian team is one of those. Until 2013, the girls did not show any great results, but it was in that year that they took second place at the World Cup. This event helped to improve the position of the team. In just three years, the national team managed to win their first Women’s World Twenty20. The added beauty of the victory was that the West Indies were able to beat Australia – one of the strongest teams, which was the reigning champion at that time.
- Pakistani women’s national team. Women’s cricket teams often perform better than men’s, but this does not apply to the Pakistani team. There are two reasons for this: firstly, the women’s team has a lower status, which affects earnings, and secondly, they do not have such a tight schedule of matches, which means less experience. The first match of the Pakistan women’s national cricket team took place in 1997, and the most outstanding result was in the 2005 Asian Cup when the team finished third.
Of course, other countries also have women’s cricket teams, but it is better to consider them in detail in separate articles.
Now you know the basic information about Women’s cricket. Do not forget that women sometimes play even better than men, so stay tuned to cricket news and do not miss spectacular matches.
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