Fern is scouting for girls

By Iain Hyndman

New Zealand White Fern batswoman Sara McGlashan is facing a challenge of a different sort in Wanganui this week ahead of the 50-over World Championships in India later this month.

The Cantabrian, who is also New Zealand Cricket women's development officer, is focusing on the talent around the country competing in the annual Wanganui Festival of Cricket at Victoria Park.

The festival began yesterday afternoon and runs until Friday and caters for under-15 and under-17 girls competing for major association and district honours.

Eight teams from around the country are taking part, including five under-15 sides and three under-17 XIs and the festival is an ideal vehicle to foster young talent and inspire youngsters to stay in the sport.

McGlashan said the annual Wanganui festival was an important date on her calendar.

"It's not only an amazing tournament where the girls are able to get this standard of play over four days in a row, but also a great opportunity for them to measure their skills against others from around the country," McGlashan said yesterday.

"I recognise a few familiar faces here from school visits and other festivals and also some who play for my club [East Shirley] in Canterbury and while girls of this age are keen on the game, it is often difficult to get them to stay in the sport when they get to high school and beyond. There are so many different sports available to girls of this age these days and if I can help inspire them to continue with the game I'm doing my job."

McGlashan plans to chat with the girls this week and impart some technical advice to help inspire them to greater things.

With that job done and dusted, McGlashan will rejoin her White Fern teammates and fly to Melbourne for several warm-up games ahead of the 50-over World Championships in India at the end of the month.

"We've all finished our domestic cricket season and travel to Melbourne on Sunday to get some practice in before the 50-over worlds."

McGlashan is a sister of former Black Cap wicketkeeper and Twenty20 player Peter McGlashan, who no longer plays.

Meanwhile, the Wanganui Festival of Cricket began yesterday afternoon with each team playing a 30-over match. Teams from Northern Districts, Auckland, Manawatu, Taranaki and a Wanganui invitational under-17 side will compete over the next three days, each playing two 30-over matches a day.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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