DEVON Women start what is likely to be the final season of ECB County Championship cricket with a Bank Holiday double header.
Durham are the visitors to Heathcoat on Sunday, followed by Bank Holiday Monday meeting with Wales at North Devon CC.
Devon are in Division Two of the ECB Competition, which is earmarked for scrappage at the end of the season. A regional competition comprised of combined counties is expected to take its place.
ECB have yet to confirm exactly what they have in mind for senior women’s cricket, but the likelihood is to make it a feeder into the regional teams such as Western Storm currently competing in the Kia Super League.
Amara Carr and Becca Sllk, both of whom are already part of the Western Storm squad, will be in Devon’s side for the game against Heathcoat.
The Monday match against Wales will feature an array of Western Storm talent on both sides. The visiting team includes Kiwi international keeper-batter Rachel Priest, who played for Brisbane Heat in last season’s Women’s Big Bash T20 in Australia.
Claire Thomas and Lauren Parfitt are other Wales players to feature in the Wales side.
Monday is a big day for women’s cricket as it is the inaugural Women’s County Cricket Day.
A new social media campaign has been launched aiming to get more county cricket supporters watching their women’s team. The campaign centres around getting fans to attend a women’s match on Bank Holiday Monday.
The aim of the new campaign is to promote women’s county cricket to a wider audience and to encourage cricket lovers across the country to get out and discover a part of the game they may not know much about.
Cricket fans up and down the country will be encouraged to discover the hidden gem that is women’s county cricket by attending their nearest match on Monday.
The campaign is being run as a joint venture through the combined efforts of various individual women’s cricket supporters, and the following cricket websites and blogs: crickether.com (Twitter - @crickether), womens-cricket.blogspot.com (Twitter - @WomensCricBlog) and womenscricket.net (Twitter - @DonMiles13).
Raf Nicholson, Editor of CRICKETher.com, said: “Women’s county cricket produces the England stars of the future, but often very few people know that these matches are taking place.”
“The men’s county calendar for 2019 has seen a drastic reduction in the amount of weekend cricket available to followers of the game, but women’s county matches will be taking place every Sunday and Bank Holiday during May and June.”
“We want to encourage cricket followers to take this great opportunity to get out there and support their county.”
If Heathcoat or North Devon are a bit off the beaten track for cricket watchers over the Bank Holiday, there is a cracker of a game at Sidmouth on Sunday, May 19 when Berkshire are the visitors.
The Berkshire team includes Heather Knight, the current England captain and former Devon player from Plymstock, as well as Anya Shrubsole, whose match-winning performance for England in the 2017 World Cup final win earned her the accolade of becoming the first woman cricketer to appear on the front cover of Wisden.