As a tribute to showcase the amazing stories in women’s cricket and inspire younger girls to take up the bat and ball, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced the launch of Women’s Big Cricket Month.
The event’s start coincided with the Rachel Heyhoe Flint Trophy, which kicked off on the 29th of last month. Women’s Big Cricket month is scheduled to go for a month till September 27th. A month-long extravaganza of events hosted by various cricket clubs and county boards to display the best moments, on and off the field in women’s cricket, and hopefully, inspire girls to take up the sport or, at the least, come to the stadiums to watch the beautiful game.
The mega event’s month-long journey will culminate on the final weekend of 26-27 September, when England Women’s clash against their West Indies counterpart will be broadcasted on free-to-air television. This will be the first instance of free-to-air broadcasting in English cricket since 1993.
In addition to this, the last week of the tournament will also coincide with the last stages of the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy. In its support of Women’s Cricket Month, Sky Sport will broadcast the finals of the highly-anticipated English domestic trophy, Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy.
The 3rd T20I on 26th September (Saturday) between @englandcricket and @windiescricket will be simulcast live on the @BBC and @SkySports, the first time women’s international cricket in the UK has been on free-to-air television since the 1993 Women’s World Cup final. #ENGvWI pic.twitter.com/JBrekz0zO3
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) August 26, 2020
ECB’s Managing Director of Women’s Cricket spoke about COVID-19 and the major blockades it has created for athletes personally and the game, at large. Clare Connor said, “We said right at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic that our commitment to the women’s game would not diminish, despite the obvious challenges facing the game. Women’s Big Cricket Month is about marking that and celebrating all of the progress that has been made.”
ECB announced last Friday their plans of successfully hosting this event for the first time. Cricket clubs and counties across the country have been encouraged to host various events showcasing the exponential growth of women’s cricket, as well as hosting sporting events to promote female participation. A landing page will also be created on ECB’s official website (ecb.co.uk), where fans will get access to this event at the tip of their fingers. In addition to this, the interested fans and participants will be kept in the loop regarding future events and ways to contribute and even participate in the rapid increase of women’s cricket in England.
This event is not only being hosted by ECB, but the wider cricketing community spread across England and Wales. This means every small and big cricketing body – clubs, academies, youth centers, counties – will play host, with events taking place concurrently throughout the country at all times. Women’s Big Cricket Month deserves this kind of a widespread event, where English cricket fans can easily access this event no matter where they are. A day out at one of the events or coming across the exploits of great cricketers over the years like Rachael Flint herself might just encourage a little girl in some corner of the country to grace the beautiful game with her presence.
As ECB’s MD describes the intent of this event, rightfully, “We want Women’s Big Cricket Month to demonstrate that we are as committed to our ambitions for women’s and girls’ cricket as we have ever been, we want it to tell the stories of some of the incredible people in the network driving the game forward and ultimately we want women and girls to know that cricket is a game for them at every level.”
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