Colac girls challenge traditional cricket views

Rebecca Brown, left, Gabby Wilson and Claire Robertson, inset, will contest state country cricket championship in January.

VICTORIAN cricket administrators and a trio of Colac girls are challenging traditional views of girls playing cricket.

A rise in junior representative numbers has signalled growth in the female form of the game and is a sign officials are successfully attracting girls to the traditionally male summer sport.

Cricket Victoria regional cricket manager Bruce Nunn said Barwon Rockettes squad numbers had impressed selectors this season.

Nunn said the under-14 Rockettes squad, which features Colac’s Gabby Wilson, Rebecca Brown and Claire Robertson, had impressed in trial matches.

“We’ve had good numbers there, even though some of them are quite young, and we’ve been really happy with our numbers and the quality of players getting involved,” he said.

“We’ve certainly got some talent to work with.”

Nunn said the under-18 Rockettes had struggled for numbers during state championships at Geelong Grammar which finished yesterday.

“The under 18s are a bit light on and we’ve had some under-16 girls playing with them this week but the 16s have good numbers and the 14s have very good numbers.”

A lack of regular club cricket and an image that cricket is a male domain often pushes girls to other sports.

Nunn said providing girls with playing opportunities was part of the task for Victorian cricket officials.

“Our challenge is the fact they don’t get to play enough at the moment – it’s about opportunity and I suppose changing the attitude that girls can play as well,” he said.

“It’s a slow process on that front but I think we’re making progress.”

Claire missed the Rockettes’ final practice match against Buninyong at Central Highlands before state championships in January.

Nunn said Gabby and Rebecca had shown they were capable cricketers in the 18-run practice match victory.

“I was at the practice match on Sunday and they played quite well – they are going to

go well and they will certainly enjoy it,” he said.

“That’s what it’s all about getting the girls involved and hopefully getting them interested in playing some more and maybe hooking into a club.”

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