Lord's Taverners welcome national women's cricket team turning professional
The Lord’s Taverners today hailed the news that the women’s national cricket team will receive a major pay rise and also a bonus following their Ashes success in Australia this winter, making it possible that the national side will become professional for the first time.
The charity runs the notable Lady Taverners Cricket Competitions alongside the ECB, the UK's only national girls-only cricket tournaments. The competitions provide a framework to play at both an informal and more competitive level, with a clear progression pathway to local clubs and development programmes.
Since they started in 2003, over 110,000 girls have competed in the Lady Taverners U13 and U15 indoor and outdoor cricket competitions, many for the first time, with over 6,000 girls taking part last year.
Almost half of the current England Squad and several members of the England’s Women’s Academy have developed through this route by participating in these distinguished Lady Taverners nationwide competitions including Heather Knight, Anya Shrubsole and Sarah Taylor.
Cricket Programmes Manager at the Lord’s Taverners and former England Cricketer Ebony Rainford-Brent, said: “It’s fantastic news that the national women’s team has now turned professional, this is a massive breakthrough for the women’s game in this country and this backing will ensure that the standard and participation figures for the sport will continue to improve as they are now,
“Big steps such as this would not have happened without the introduction of competitions such as the Lady Taverners girls only cricket competitions where I know a number of the current team started their journey to the top level, and its investment in competitions such as this that will see further sustained periods of success for the national team.”
Lord’s Taverners Trustee and former England Cricket Captain Mike Gatting, said: “It’s great to see that the England Women’s cricket team have been rewarded for their fantastic efforts to win back to back Ashes series and I’m delighted in the modern era of Cricket that the team will be able to make a living off their abilities playing the game.”
“It’s testament to the excellence of the grassroots programmes that the Lord’s Taverners and the ECB provide that a number of players in the recent Ashes winning team have played in the countrywide competitions.
“As a trustee at the Lord’s Taverners, I’m proud to have played a small part in shaping the women’s game and who knows, there could be a star in the making playing in one of our junior competitions right now."