Women’s Ashes – The Spitfire Ground, Canterbury
Written by Megan Joyce
Although it was a disappointing Ashes Test for England Women at Canterbury last week, Cerno Capital hosted an event to remember on the second day of play at the Spitfire Ground.
A delayed and rainy start to proceedings saw Australia declare for 274-9 before Wallabies star Ellyse Perry took centre stage to see off several English wickets.
In the event box, Cerno were remaining positive about England’s slow start, with members of the investment team and guests celebrating the coverage of women’s Test cricket across TV screens and on the radio, via Sky Sports and Test Match Special.
Former England cricket captain Mike Gatting attended the event day, sharing his thoughts on the Test match and discussing the progress of women’s cricket on the international stage.
It presented a fantastic opportunity for all to quiz the brave batsman about his career, who played for Middlesex and toured South Africa as captain of the infamous rebel tour party of 1990.
Gatting wasn’t the only inspirational cricketer present on the day, with Isabelle Duncan, author of ‘Skirting The Boundary’ – a history of women’s cricket, a guest speaker at the event.
Duncan told stories of how she appeared on the cover of Wisden Cricket Monthly wearing an MCC jumper in 1998, during a controversial time when the MCC were voting on the admittance of women. Duncan was chosen because she was and still is a club cricketer who bats and bowls alongside men, currently captaining Albury CC (all-male apart from her) in the Surrey League.
She read from chapters in her book, which detail the history of women’s cricket and its progression from the late 18th century, right through to the 19th and 20th centuries, while also celebrating the success of the modern day stars of the game.
Just as England were starting to find their stride through captain Charlotte Edwards, the floor was opened up for questions from the Cerno team and guests. Belinda Moore, Director of Sport at Speed Communications and wife of England rugby union legend, Brian Moore, lead the way with questions surrounding the development of the women’s game at a grassroots level.
Duncan expressed how the expansion of girls’ cricket at a schools level has improved through the charity Chance to Shine, of which she is closely linked. She also gave memorable anecdotes of the time she spends sitting on the committee for Girls on the Front Foot, an initiative which aims to attract girls to the game of cricket.
England’s Katherine Brunt stood out in the final stages of play, with an innings of 39, as Cerno and guests continued to talk about the progression of women’s cricket over tea and scones.
However, as the event day concluded, so too did England. Australia’s Megan Schutt wrapped up the innings with a dismissal of Anya Shrubsole, leaving England all out for 168.
It was further frustration for England during the final two days of the Ashes Test match at Canterbury, with Australia winning the four-day Test by 161 runs.
They are now faced with the task of winning all three remaining games of the series, in order to obtain a draw and retain the Women’s Ashes. The first of three T20 matches will be held in Chelmsford on the 26th of August, with play moving to Hove on the 28th, and Cardiff on the 31st.
Cerno Capital are wishing England Women, the very best of luck.
‘Skirting the Boundary’ – a history of women’s cricket, by Isabelle Duncan: https://www.therobsonpress.com/books/skirting-the-boundary