Girls to give it a big bash

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser

The continued rise in popularity of women’s cricket will see the first-ever girls’ only cricket league begin in Albany next week.

The Perth Scorchers Girls’ League in Albany will give aspiring junior female cricketers aged between 11 and 17 the opportunity to play with their friends in the popular Twenty20 format.

WA’s unique Perth Scorchers Girls’ League has seen close to 50 teams formed across the State, with competitions in Peel, Northam, Bunbury, Esperance and now Albany.

According to the 2016-17 National Cricket Census, female participation grew by 23 per cent to about 63,000 female participants across WA.

The growth in popularity and exposure of the Women’s Big Bash League has continued to drive the rise in participation across WA, which is starting to feed into the Great Southern.

While female cricketers from the region continue to emerge and perform in WA representative teams in recent seasons, the region has never had a competition in which girls can play together.

Great Southern-bred cricketers Georgie Middleton and Samara Williams both excelled at national level recently, having been named in the Australian Country XI and the women’s Black Caps honour squad from the National Indigenous Cricket Championships respectively.

WACA Great Southern regional cricket manager Callyn Bennett said the vision was to create a girls’ only T20 Blast centre next season, which would hopefully lead into a structured club competition.

Bennett said the new league would run for six weeks, with school-based seven-a-side teams.

“In the long term, it would be great to see that lead into a women’s competition aligned to the clubs, so there is a set pathway,” Bennett said. “Next season, there will be a girls’ T20 Blast and every year we will try and lead into a women’s competition.”

Keen cricketers Madison, 15, and Tayah Dallimore, 13, will play for the St Joseph’s College team in the school-based competition.

The sisters recently took part in the Girls’ Country Cricket Carnival in Perth in January and took an interest in cricket after watching their older brother Aidan play.

To register, visit playcricket.com.au.

For more information, contact Callyn Bennett on 0417 175 767.

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