Women’s game on the rise and schools an important goal – Anya Shrubsole

England World Cup winner Anya Shrubsole says women’s cricket is “definitely on an upward 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 her childhood.

England’s triumphant Euro 2022 footballers penned a letter last week 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.

Anya Shrubsole has repeated calls from England's triumphant Euro 2022 squad

Anya Shrubsole has echoed calls from England’s triumphant Euro 2022 squad (Danny Lawson/PA)

Southern Brave captain Shrubsole, who kicks off this year’s Hundred against the London Spirit on Friday, believes there is a “feel-good factor” around women’s sport at the moment and believes investing in 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, it was just the way it was,” she told the PA news agency.

“But you look around now and that’s just not the case, so I think it’s come very, very far already.

“The amount of girls playing just wasn’t there and now it is, so it’s definitely on an upward trend, you just have to keep pushing it.

“In the same way that the Lionesses wrote that letter to make football available in PE, I would like to see the same in cricket as well.

“Schools are a very important target, where everyone can get involved in the game.

“The feel-good factor is the really big thing. We had the experience in 2017 with the World Cup and it’s the feel-good factor around women’s sport that can really grow.”

Shrubsole – the first woman to grace the cover of the prestigious Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack – retired from international cricket in April, having lifted the 50-over World Cup twice.

She helped the Southern Brave top the women’s standings in last year’s First Hundred with seven wins from eight before losing the Lord’s final to the Oval Invincibles.

The 30-year-old expects the standard of the competition to be higher this time around as her side prepare for a sell-out opener at the Ageas Bowl.

“We obviously want to be a better one and we felt we played really good cricket most of the way through that competition last year and then just fell at the last hurdle,” said Shrubsole, who was speaking at the KP Snacks summer cricket roadshow at Westquay Shopping Center in Southampton.

“That’s the way this competition is, on any given day people have players who can win a game.

Southern Brave captain Anya Shrubsole prepares to start this year's Hundred at a sold-out Ageas Bowl in Southampton

Southern Brave captain Anya Shrubsole prepares to start this year’s Hundred at a sold-out Ageas Bowl in Southampton (KP Snacks/PA)

“All the teams are stronger this year, I think it’s only natural given the Australians and New Zealanders are part of this competition.

“And also the domestic players, a lot of them have had a little over a year of being fully-paid cricketers and the level of the domestic cricketer in this country is so much higher, so I think it’s going to be very tight.”

:: KP Snacks, official team partner of The Hundred, is 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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.