Who would have believed that cricket, that most ancient and some would say, staid of sports, would be the first major sport to contemplate allowing women to actually play alongside men.
The breaking news is that Sarah Taylor, the talented 23 year old batswoman and wicket keeper, could become the first woman cricketeer to play for a County side this summer, she is regarded as one of the best female cricketers in the world.
Sarah will be playing with the England Women’s team in India where they will defend the 50 overs World Cup which they won in 2009. She has revealed she is in talks to play men’s second XI cricket for Sussex during the summer months. Sarah is realistic about her chances when she said “The men’s game will be a challenge as the cricket ball is larger and the bowlers are bigger”, women’s cricket is played with a slightly smaller and lighter ball.
Another member of the England Women’s team playing in India is 31 year old Arran Brindle, she has played for Louth men’s club in one of the England and Wales Cricket Boards Premier Leagues for 6 years and has captained the side for 3 of them. In 2011 she became the first woman in the world to score a century at semi-professional level in the men’s game.
Leading sportswomen are physically fitter and stronger than ever and Craig Ranson a physiotherapist who has worked for the ECB and UK Athletics believes women can play alongside men, he said recently, “Physically, there isn’t any reason why female batsmen couldn’t be successful against men in longer forms of cricket”
Will professional cricket be the first sport to welcome women players without reservation? it’s not a foregone conclusion but it’s about time someone took the lead, surely it’s only a matter of time and Sarah Taylor’s exceptional talent cannot be ignored, her progress through the sport is great news for women’s sport and cricket.
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