Pushing the boundaries

• Jasmine Green executes a sweet on-drive as wicketkeeper Molly Yong looks on. Photo by Steve Grant.

WOMEN’S cricket is stronger than ever.

Players like Alyssa Healy and Ellyse Perry are smashing records, the Aussie team is ranked #1 in every variant of the sport and an equal pay deal is on the table for T20.

According to Cricket Australia, the number of female cricketers grew by 14 per cent last year and 873 new girls’ teams were registered across the country.

So far WA hasn’t really capitalised on that success, with just one Sandgroper in the Aussie women’s squad.

But hopefully players from Hilton Park Junior Cricket Club’s first-ever girls team will soon be making a splash on the national scene.

Keen? When rain bucketed down on the last practice session before the season-opener, the boys pulled up stumps and scurried home, while nine-year-old Jasmine Green and her team mates continued their fielding drills.

Jasmine says it was great fun playing in the rain.

After getting into cricket watching her brother play, the aspiring bowler now says she loves nothing better than “getting someone out” and took two wickets in the team’s opening match.

She hasn’t yet caught a game of WA’s women’s cricket team, the Western Fury (who finished second in last year’s national league after coming up against a behemoth of an innings from Healy – her 122 off 109 balls pretty much sealed the game before WA even got to bat), but regularly watches the men scorching away in the Big Bash League T20 games.

Jasmine benefits from modified rules which give everyone a fair go, says club president Wayne Horton.

“There’s seven players in the team, with a minimum of five on the field and nine in the overall team, so they’re doing more work because there’s less fielders,” Mr Horton says.

To keep up with Hilton’s season or to check if you’ve got the next Betty Wilson lobbing thunderbolts in the backyard head to http://www.hpjcc.org.au

by STEVE GRANT

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