The Rise of Women’s Cricket since 1934

We recently saw a thrilling end to the women’s ashes game, a culmination of hardships and struggles. In the 18th century, two teams from Surrey villages, Bramley and Hambledon, played a match, beginning women’s cricket.

White Heather Club, founded by the Yorkshire aristocracy in 1887, was the first women’s club. It was a significant turning point in the history of women’s cricket.


Melbourne Cricket Ground
Packed Melbourne Cricket Ground during Women’s T20 World Cup 20202. Pic Credits: Tourism Australia

Many women’s sporting organizations were formed after the First World War. A team of female players went to Colwall in 1926 to play cricket. After that, the Women’s Cricket Association was formed, allowing women to play cricket and enjoy the sport. Within just ten years, 105 WCA member clubs came into existence.

Development of Women Cricket

In 1934, Australia and New Zealand formed associations for women’s cricket as it was very popular across the world. Consequently, an England cricket team sailed for Australia and played three test matches in the Australian cricket season. The International Women’s Cricket Council was established in 1958 as a result of the continuous involvement of women in international cricket.

In addition to promoting international tours, the council served as a coordination point for any questions related to the sport between countries. England, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and the Netherlands were the founding members of this league. It gradually expanded, and other members joined in, like India and West Indies in 1973, Ireland in 1982, Denmark in 1983, and Pakistan and Sri Lanka in 1997.

The first Women’s Cricket World Cup

Women’s cricket was loved around the globe, but conducting bilateral series and developing the audience’s interest was tough. For which the World Cups were the best method to gather all teams and create a stage for everyone at the same time.

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Rachael Heyhoe Flint and Jack Hayward decided to organize the first Women’s World Cup. This 1973 tournament featured seven teams, including England, an English youth team, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and an International XI.

After the success of that World Cup, the MCC agreed to allow women to play at Lord’s for the first time after refusing to host the final. Due to the lack of resources and money, the two bodies decided to merge in the 1990s. The first team to amalgamate its men’s and women’s cricket teams was New Zealand in 1992, followed by England in 1998.

Growth of female cricket

In 2005, The International Women’s Cricket Council (IWCC) decided to hand over control of the global women’s game to the International Cricket Council (ICC). All women’s national associations were merged into men’s associations to improve the game. With more money and better facilities, the game appealed to other industries, like sports betting. It opened other avenues and attracted masses and even non-cricket nations.

For women’s cricket to receive more funding, the game needed to connect with the men. It led to the ECB signing the first professional contracts with 18 of England’s top female players. There are now professional contracts in place for all teams that participate in the T20 World Cup.

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