After the England women showed the men how it’s done during March’s World Cup, the ECB have acknowledged that cricket is a fast-growing sport for women by appointing two female board advisors for the first time EVER.
Jane Stichbury, CBE and QPM, is Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary for the South of England Region; and Rachael Heyhoe Flint, OBE DL, became a champion for the cause of women’s cricket during her 24-year reign as England player and captain from 1960, when she made 51 appearances for England and scored 30 centuries at all levels.
Heyhoe Flint has been a trailblazer for women’s cricket – she was also partly instrumental in the creation of the first Women’s Cricket World Cup in 1973; she captained England in the first ever women’s match at Lord’s in 1976 when they defeated Australia by eight wickets; she campaigned for nine years to enable women to become members of the MCC; and in 1999 she was one of the first 10 women to be named MCC Honorary Life members.
Great news for them and for women’s cricket, and we can only hope that the stuffy image English cricket has will be shed for good soon. It certainly seems as though internal attitudes are altering, as ECB chairman Giles Clarke welcomed the women effusively: “ECB is delighted that Jane and Rachael have agreed to join ECB as their knowledge and experience will greatly strengthen our board. Women’s cricket is one of the fastest growing areas of our sport and I am delighted to welcome our first two female members to our Bbard meetings.”