Cricket ACT will field an Under 17s Girls team at the Cricket Australia National Indoor Championships for the first time in at least five years.
Entering a team in to the Under 17s Championships is a feat of its own, with the average age of the ACT based players sitting at a staggering 12.75 years old.
Two Queensland imports will turn out in ACT colours in an effort to bolster the national capital’s playing stocks, as only eight players could be provided by Cricket ACT in a squad of ten.
Milly Cheney has been handed the coaching reigns, and believes that this side may be an avenue to inspire more girls to play cricket.
“If they see their friends doing it, then they want to get involved. They see them wearing the uniform around, they’d be like ‘Yeah, I want to play cricket! I want to go away!’”
Cheney says that in turn, that would have a positive impact on the future of the ACT Meteors in the Women’s National Cricket League.
“We’re doing emerging programs and looking in to that direction. So if we can pull these girls out from that, get them in to big squads, train them up a bit, and then hopefully put through a strong Meteors team.”
The team will face South Australia in their opening game, and Cheney is excited by the development shown by the team ahead of Sunday’s clash.
“We started off with a practice match against one of the Under 13s boys, they didn’t do too well. And then we played them again last weekend and we beat them, so we improved so much.”
“I’m really happy with the girls’ effort.”
Thirteen-year-old Grace Kuchlmayr is one of the ACT players helping to pave the way for the future of women’s cricket, and acknowledges that the side has a tough task ahead of them.
“It is going to be a bit of a challenge but I think it will be pretty exciting.”
“Something I’m really happy about is that it is a girls’ team, because usually there is just boys’ teams, so I am really glad that there is an ACT girls’ team.”
Kuchlmayr’s cricket journey started in primary school in a Super Eights tournament, and from there she progressed to outdoor cricket before making the transition to the indoor format.
“I first started off with outdoor cricket, and I really enjoyed that. So I thought to keep my skills up during the off-season I could try indoor, and I’ve enjoyed it.”
Cricket ACT will also be represented by male teams in the Under 13s, Under 15s, and Under 17s competitions at the tournament, running from the 4th of July through to the 11th in Brisbane.
The Squad (with age in brackets): Jade Allen (11), Cameron Butler (13), Lucy Conn (16), Caitlin Galeano (13), Grace Kuchlmayr (13), Clare Levings (10), Lauren Phillips (13), Maddison Wheatley (13), Stacy Rockliff*, Natalie Harmer*
*denotes Queensland-based player, age unavailable
ARTICLE WRITTEN FOR YABBA