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2017 Diary

A Ramble on Women's Cricket
 - with diversions -

This diary will be updated erratically throughout the year.

Previous Page :  Tribute to 'JB'

 

Knock-Out Cup League Finals

From our own Correspondent

Both days enjoyed pleasant weather but the pitches looked very green and appeared to be somewhat damp, especially on Saturday morning. The #2 pitch was very marshy in the lower corner of the outfield. The ECB engaged female umpires to officiate and those in the games I watched seemed to perform admirably
In all 4 matches the winner of the toss invited the opposition to bat and this proved to be the victorious strategy in all but the 3rd place play off.
SF1: Walmley v Saxton - Saxton managed to post 112* in 42 overs (Rachel Hildreth 35. Rebecca Grundy 3 for 9) and Walmley knocked them off for the loss of 5 wickets in 32 overs (Marie Kelly 26. Cecelia Allen 2 for 18).
SF2: Newport v Finchley - Finchley were dismissed for 59 in short order & Newport won by 8 wickets.
3rd P-Off: Saxton v Finchley - Batting first again on a dryer pitch #2, Finchley were able to post 173 after being c.50 for 5, however their bowlers proceeded to demolish the Saxton batting line up for 52. Catherine Dalton & India Whitty were the main run makers for Finchley I believe.
Final: Saxton v Newport - Newport lost their skipper, Lauren Parfitt, to the 1st delivery of the match but lower order batting from Charlotte Scarborough (30) enabled them to post a defendable 129-9*. Both of the Walmley openers were back in the pavilion with the score on 13, however the experienced pair of Thea Brookes (66*) and Marie Kelly (55*) brought up a straightforward 8 wicket victory to take the trophy in the 30th over.
* Figures from my own scorecard which don't always match those given by the official scorers.
Of the players I'd not seen before, I was particularly impressed by the performance in the final of left arm seamer Grace Ballinger (Walmley) who ended with figures of 9-3-11-3 and had scored a creditable 23 runs in the semi-final.
As usual, a number of each club's main players were unavailable (Becky Grundy was only there for Saturday & Thea Brookes only on Sunday) coinciding as it does with the advent of the university year. Saxton (nr. Tadcaster) were actually fielding a girl who hadn't ever played cricket before (so they said).
A few more points...
  • matches were played with pink balls

  • Games were 45 overs – a balance between the 40 overs played in the northern & 50 in the southern premier leagues – although only Newport made full use of the limit.

  • On both days play was over before 4pm.

  • Newport played in coloured kit, although other sides were in whites

  • There was a PA system used on the main pitch to announce the identity of the umpires and incoming batsmen (but unfortunately not many other details that could be discerned from looking at the scoreboard e.g. bowlers or catchers) as well as blast out a modern ditty when wickets fell or boundaries hit.

Play-Cricket Report and Pictures

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The Ashes Loom

 

The England Squad for the series has been announced and the fixtures can be found on our page.

 

However, one piece of recent news is a little puzzling. It is said that the 1st ODI which is to be played at Allan Border Field at Brisbane, is sold out. One newspaper article says all 2,000 tickets have been sold. Since the capacity of this ground is said to be 6,300 something doesn't add up here. Surely Cricket Australia would want as large a crowd as possible.

 

We have to hope the ticket sellers have dropped a clanger as they will have shot themselves in the foot. Who will turn up now without a ticket, thinking they'll be no space available?  I do hope they haven't decided to open only one third of the ground. That really would be insulting to the players.

 

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Maroof to Captain Pakistan

Following on from Sana Mir's refusal to attend a training camp, Bismah Maroof has been appointed captain of Pakistan. Are these two acts linked you might wonder. Possibly so... Mir, however obviously feels a very strong sense of grievance about the way the team as a whole has been treated. There has also been negative press in Pakistan regarding the performance in the World Cup.

 

Let's take a realistic look at the World Cup first. If you'd been asked which were the teams likely to be propping up the table at the end of the round-robin section I doubt anyone would have picked any side other than Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Now let me get my view clear quickly. The support that both of these sides get from their own Boards is minimal. In addition Pakistan lost Bismah Maroof very early on and there's no doubt she is their top batsman. Attapattu however, arguably Sri Lanka's equivalent, excelled with the highest individual innings of the tournament , 178*, and saw her side lose in spite of her Herculean effort. She has an average for 2017 of 42 in ODIs.

 

Maroof meanwhile has a poor average for 2017 despite in previous years averaging in the late 30s or low 40s. She was denied the opportunity of correcting that in the World Cup with her injury. There's no doubt Maroof was a huge loss to Pakistan.

 

Had we all known that Maroof was to play so little part in the World Cup, which team would we have expected to take the wooden spoon?

 

Trying to weight up all of the above, and what I have seen of Pakistan in the past, I would say they are a far better side than they were even a few years ago. So I am forced to conclude that the problem lies not with Sana Mir but with the Pakistan Cricket Board. Another countries in the region, namely Bangladesh, have fought on with their men's team in spite of losing match after match. Now they are a competitive force and can, as the saying goes, give the opposition a run for its money. Pakistan needs to back its women in the same way. Address Sana Mir's concerns and in due time anything is possible.

 

Meanwhile team members continue to support San Mir, and, in turn, she remains generous to her new skipper, posting this on Twitter.

 

 

And here's a typical tweet from a teammate...

 

At time's like this Twitter does allow a valuable insight into how players feel, and there's little doubt the Pakistan team are supportive of both players.

 

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With (Some) Successes Come Problems

And one that might have escaped your notice concerns the opportunities for corruption. Here's a quote from a recent article in The Guardian...

So far in 2017, the sums bets on women’s cricket with Ladbrokes are 43% greater than in all of 2016, with the Ashes still to come. Industry insiders have highlighted how the extra liquidity in betting markets for women’s cricket is creating potential opportunities for corruptors.

Now surely the amount bet on women's games can't be that much that it would be worth the while of any fraudsters to bother trying to take advantage of any players, would it? 43% increase on a little is still - well, not much. Well, think again! Apparently the Lord's World Cup final was 'traded' on 'Betfair' alone to the tune of £78,000,000 if the Guardian article is to be believed. One has to hope the ECB, ICC and other governing bodies are not just aware of the fact but are prepared to do something about it.

 

If I can add a note here -
1. The only sites who have ever approached me wishing to advertise on this site have been betting companies. I've never been sure if this tells me anything about the women's game...
2, I am always irritated by the expression so often seen on adverts for the betting companies - "Bet Responsibly". I am not sure that I have ever seen such a contradiction in two words (which is not incidentally an 'oxymoron' although often described as such. An oxymoron is 'seemingly self-contradictory' (although Webster's disagrees with my former English Master and the Oxford Dictionary), whereas "Bet Responsibly" ... well you've got my thoughts on betting by now and I hold up as further evidence the fact I have never accepted those offers to pay me for advertising.

 

Next Page : The Ashes 2017