Cricket: Fern on recruitment drive

By Anendra Singh

Scoring runs and taking wickets in the international and domestic arena of cricket are the ultimate.

However, it takes an even sharper vision than picking a ball from a bowler's hand to recognise the seeds of success are bedded at the grassroots level, otherwise those runs and wickets will evaporate pretty smartly.

That's why New Zealand cricketer Sara McGlashan is on a White Ferns Roadshow trying to stoke the burning desire of year 5 to year 8 girls to keep rolling their arms or finding traction with their bats.

The Hawke's Bay-born White Fern, who was the 2010-11 international women's cricketer of the year, has just completed two "festivals" in the Bay as part of a nationwide initiative as the national women's cricket development officer with New Zealand Cricket.

She joined White Fern/Central Districts Hinds captain Rachel Priest, Irish international Eimear Richardson (CD) and Bay women's development officer/organiser Abby Burrows to conduct an 11-team session on Monday at Marewa Park, Napier, involving 11 teams from six schools.

They included McGlashan's former Puketapu School, Havelock North Primary, Arthur Miller, Nelson Park, Haumoana and Te Mata.

They also held a smaller one at Cornwall Park, Hastings, yesterday.

"The aim of the roadshow is to inspire the girls who are already playing to continue doing so and attract girls who aren't playing to give it a go.

"Cricket has given me amazing opportunities to travel around the world so it's nice to make the girls aware of the opportunities out there for females if they are keen on their cricket."

McGlashan said most of the CD Hinds players were returning for the Action Indoor Sports-sponsored women's domestic season starting late this month.

Only former Dutch international spinner Esther Lanser, of Carterton, and Kerry Tomlinson were not returning.

"Esther's retired and Kerry's playing for Northern Districts Spirit," she said.

"Priesty's injury-free. She didn't have surgery so she'll be a huge asset to us."

While last summer's Hinds were fairly young, former women's World Cup-winning coach Mike Shrimpton had been working with them over winter so they would have a bit more experience.

On the international campaign, McGlashan said the Suzie Bates-captained White Ferns were disappointed in bowing out to England in the semifinals of the Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka in September.

"In fairness, it's a fair reflection of where the team's at, while the Aussies and English were winning comfortably [before the T20 World Cup].

"It was an international tournament so we had to win game by game, so if we'd gone one step further we would have put ourselves in a position to perhaps win it but that didn't happen so it's disappointing," the former Napier Girls' High School pupil said.

CD allrounder Kate Broadmore, of Taranaki, was not used during the cup, especially as she has proven ability to stifle batsmen with her slow, right-arm deliveries.

"It's a tough tour with a maximum of five games so Broady would have been disappointed like anyone else missing out.

"It's hard work but that's how it is at the top level," said McGlashan of Broadmore, who was with her last week to promote the game to youngsters in the Wairarapa/Wanganui/Taranaki area.

"She's definitely unlucky for someone who has been successful at the shorter form of the game but she'd like to show she can keep doing what's she's doing."

Broadmore is in the New Zealand Emerging team to tour Australia in a fortnight, she said, and would have another opportunity to put her hand up for a White Ferns starting spot.

The conditions in Sri Lanka, she said, were foreign despite the warm-up trip a month earlier, when considering England and Australia had been touring the subcontinent consistently.

The one-day (50-over) World Cup tournament in late January in Mumbai, India, is the next objective for the White Ferns

That's what has prompted NZ Cricket to start the domestic season earlier this summer, much to the dismay of CD cricket, who have several players swotting for high school exams.

The applications for a coach closed a fortnight ago and Gary Stead's replacement should be named shortly.

Stead is the newly appointed men's Canterbury Wizards coach this summer.

No doubt, his replacement will have a short honeymoon before the New Zealand women begin their Rosebowl Series against Australia from December 12-19 for their 26th challenge.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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