Literally hundreds of young women will roll into Whanganui over the next two weeks to immerse themselves in all things cricket.

The arrival of the first wave on Tuesday will herald the beginning of the annual Cricket Whanganui Festival of Cricket starting with the under-18 secondary school competition.

Cricket Whanganui's Dilan Raj said the festival was designed for the girls to hone their skills during four days of play with help from cricketing mentors available on the Tasman Tanning pitches at Victoria Park to offer tips and technical advice.

"We have the likes of White Fern Hannah Rowe and even our own Jessica Watkin on hand to help mentor the girls," Raj said.


From Tuesday afternoon to Friday teams from Taranaki, Whanganui, Nelson, Wairarapa, Manawatu and Hawkes Bay will do battle for top honours.

Meanwhile, the following week (January 8-11) will feature the Under-15 Girls' Development Tournament which will feature teams from the six regions - Auckland, Northern Districts, Wellington, Central Districts, Christchurch and Otago.

Auckland is the defending champion after convincingly beating Central Districts last season.

"For many of these girls, this will be the first time they are representing their association, but significantly they are our future White Ferns and a very important component of the women's game in this country," Raj said.

Sophie Devine, Suzie Bates and Amelia Kerr, all current White Ferns, have come through the Cricket Whanganui Festival of Cricket development programme and, in fact, Devine is the Girls' U15 Development Tournament ambassador.

The tournament will consist of six 30 over games for each side with teams of 13 allowed, although only 11 can bat. They will accumulate points for wins (4), ties (2) and no results (2) to find an overall winner.

Both tournaments also include large numbers of family and friends supporting their teams on a daily basis.

Rain hampered play during both tournaments last season and organisers are praying for settled weather in the coming weeks.