HEYWOOD believe they may have made local cricket history at the weekend despite the first team game at Stand being washed out.
For the first time, a female player was selected to play in each of the three senior teams, certainly an unprecedented occurrence in the history of Heywood CC and maybe in club cricket in the region – if not the country!
Kate Cross was picked to return to first team action at Stand on Saturday, Emily Carter represented the second team at home against Failsworth Macedonia on the same day, while Olivia Thomas made her senior debut for the third team at home to Roe Green on Sunday.
England International Kate, 25, has blazed a trail for women cricketers for some time, being the first of her sex to play senior cricket in the Central Lancashire League.
She has also acted as a role model for Emily, aged 16, and Olivia, 13, who have both put in impressive performances in mixed junior cricket this season and gained representative honours for Lancashire.
Kate said: “Personally, I think it is wonderful that we were all picked to represent the club at the weekend, and I would like to congratulate Emily and Olivia on being selected on merit for senior cricket.
“It is a credit to the coaches and volunteers at the club that all those youngsters who come to training have the same opportunity to learn and develop. And that, if you are good enough to play, you are picked by the Selection Committee.
“In an amazing summer for women’s cricket with a home World Cup and the Kia Super League, I’m delighted that Heywood continue to underline their commitment to the game.”
Emily has represented Lancashire at Under-15, Under-17 and second team level, as well as having played for the MCC.
She is a talented seam bowler whose main attribute is keeping a challenging line and length, and she has shown great promise and tenacity in her senior games so far this year.
Olivia has only been playing for a couple of seasons and is an elegant bat and promising wrist spin bowler. She is in the Lancashire Under-13 performance squad, having previously played at Under-11 level for the county.
Her promotion to senior cricket comes on the back of some tremendous performances for Heywood’s junior teams this year.
Kate did not get chance to get in the action at Stand when the game was washed out in mid-afternoon, meaning that Heywood drop to second place in Division One of the Greater Manchester League.
Emily, however, played her part in the second team’s easy win over Failsworth Macedonia. In a game reduced to 25-overs-per side, Heywood made 124-8 after an opening stand of 59 between Chris Kaye, who made 32, and Steve Evans, 25.
Heywood then toppled Macedonia for 48, John Keyworth taking 3-12, Kaye 5-15 and Emily bowling three tidy overs for just six runs.
The third team did not fare nearly so well against a strong Roe Green side the following day in their defence of the Per-Fit Sunday Cup. They made just 111, and the visitors knocked off the runs for the loss of only one wicket.
Significant batting contributions for Heywood came from Roger Smethurst, 26, Dominik Fawcett, 24, and Mikey Witts, 20. Olivia impressed with her technique with the bat in a contribution of four runs, then bowled a couple of overs costing 13 runs towards the end of the Roe Green innings.
It all left Club chairman John Rhodes reflecting: “It underlines the progress we are making in this area of the game, and we are immensely proud of the three female players selected – as well as the whole of the girls and junior sections.”
Coming hot on the heels of Heywood’s first foray into all-girls cricket at Marple the previous weekend, things are clearly on the up for girls cricket at Heywood. And with more festivals planned for the summer things can hopefully go from strength to strength.