The women’s game has a chance to share the spotlight as they play alongside the boys in the Under 15 Western NSW Junior Cricket Carnival which kicks off on Monday.
While a smattering of girls took the field in last week’s under 13 event, six girls teams – including two Western ones – will play across the four days in their own competition.
ACT, Penrith, and two Gordon sides will join the two Western outfits on the field in the second of Orange Junior District Cricket Association’s carnivals.
It’s great to see the numbers of girls coming through in the Western zone.Western coach Alana Ryan
The two Western sides are split into a main side and an Invitational XI, which is made up of a few older players who have just aged out of the competition along with underage players the Western academy is looking to develop.
Alana Ryan is the coach of the main side and said she and the girls were “looking forward” to the week ahead.
“It’s a great team and it’s a bit of a mix,” she said.
“We’re a much younger side than last year, but we’ve still got players from last year who know the drill.”
The side isn’t coming together out of the blue, either.
All the girls train with the Western academy and went to the country championships together – albeit as a slightly older side – and have had Sunday trainings through winter.
“We’ve had a few younger ones who have come through with the PSSA and it’s good to have them on board,” Ryan said.
The two key pillars will be co-captains Katie Letcher and Amy Kreuzberger.
“It’s great to have them, Amy was the leading wicket-taker at the carnival last year and to have both of them back, they’re our two main players,” Ryan said.
She said having a carnival in Orange rather than travelling to Sydney or Canberra was great for the side, and for the women’s game in general as onlookers built familiarity with the sport.
“It’s good in that respect, a lot of siblings come along and watch and or locals who love the game see what it’s all about,” Ryan said.
“It’s very handy having a local carnival when you don’t have to travel. You also get around the Western carnival and family and friends can come along and watch.
”It’s a great opportunity for all the girls who get chosen and it’s great to see the numbers of girls coming through in the Western zone.”
Orange District Junior Cricket Association president Dave Cumming said it was great to have them back.
“The girls have a different culture altogether to have them here, to have boys and girls here. We try and put one game on Jack Brabham, but the cricket gets stronger and stronger as you go up,” he said.
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