Amidst all the negatives for women’s cricket in these tiring times, Rachel Heyhoe Flint Trophy has been a breath of fresh air. English cricketers were promised a radical upgrade but had to face a cloud of uncertainty when the pandemic came in the picture and the lockdown was unavoidable.
Phoebe Graham, one of the known, participants in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy has recently opened up on how the tournament has proven to be a great indication of women’s cricket potentials. She sheds light on how Diamonds made it to the final on the back of a superb campaign by winning five out of six matches. Graham has been a member of Diamonds and considers her time with the team as “quality eight weeks”.
She says that the Diamonds have had a fabulous training environment. She has made new friends while enjoying the game with former mates. She terms the initiative of the tournament as an “electric era” for women’s cricket. She said while managing work, cricket and life have been challenging but it has been enjoyable.
She thanks all the stakeholders for helping the game to turn into a reality in these times. She writes the significance of her father and his inspiration that lives with her till the date. On considering these times as the new era for women’s cricket, Graham goes back to the days when she was 19. She remembers female cricketers who were playing the final Junior Super Fours competition not being paid. Missing the chance to England Academy meant missing chances to England’s national side.
The new structure, however, fills the gap between the county and international cricket. According to her, this “shows clear career pathways to female cricketers”.
Graham has further elaborated on the various aspects of the game and the competition as well. She says that not only will the tournament be helpful for women cricketers, but it shall also enable the game to find a new face with greater interest from sponsors.
As a part of Diamonds, she says that the side is made of cricketers who come from different and interesting backgrounds. The one thing that is common in all of them is the constant effort to balance work, cricket, and life.