Maidens ready for hard game

Women’s cricket is big in many parts of the world but it has been dormant here for a long time. That is about to change.

The International Cricket Council has mandated that women’s cricket must be played everywhere the men’s game exists and Cayman is moving towards that directive.

Cayman cricket’s technical director Theo Cuffy said: ‘Women here have been playing soft ball cricket for the last 13 years but we have to get into the hard ball.

‘The women have consented and they’ve formed a women’s committee. We have three teams for now and more will be formed as we go along.

‘Greenies have formed one team, then there’s the Esso Panthers and we have yet to get confirm a name for the third team but we’re working with Stingrays.

‘The committee will oversee the development of women’s cricket. It is headed by Merta Day and the committee includes Deborah Ebanks, Molly-Ann Moore, Stephen Best and Simon Wetherell.

‘We’re having a rally, this Sunday, 15 March at the Smith Road Oval from 11am to around 6pm. It’s going to be all day. We’re having tents and so on so people can come around.

‘We’ll have one or two domino positions so that people can come and enjoy that while the ladies play.

‘This has come about because the ICC has made it a worldwide thing under its charter and we have fallen in line.

‘So we’re getting our women organised properly and hoping that in the next couple of years we’ll be playing at the regional level. Everything will fall in place as we go along.’

When Cuffy arrived in Cayman 13 years ago from his Trinidad homeland he tried to promote women’s and was relatively successful. But it fizzled out after a while.

‘I was the new coach on the island and everybody was moving towards cricket but it is a sport that demands a lot of time. There are a lot of rules and regulations, it’s not like just kicking a ball around or bouncing a ball. Only the ones really, really interested remain.

‘We need to get involved in the communities and the schools and use it not just as a sport but as a social activity. Not everyone is going to become a good cricketer and represent the country, but you can become socially active and acceptable if you’re involved in cricket.’

Cuffy is pleased women’s cricket is flourishing internationally. West Indies have a strong team and the women’s World Cup is going on at present in Australia and is even televised on Cayman27.

‘When you see women’s cricket at that level you realise that there is no difference between the men and women’s game.

‘Bowling is the hardest part of the game for women but after a while they adapt. It’s a matter of people persisting and persevering and really enjoying it.

‘We’re going to run a series of coaching courses to teach the ladies all the basics of the game and encourage them as much as possible.’

Cuffy has two children, Tyrell, 20, and Trish 21. Tyrell was an exceptional youth player, captaining the Under-15s but chose to concentrate on sprinting when he got a track scholarship.

It’s paying off; he just missed reaching the Olympic mark for the Beijing Games in the 200 metres. Trish was a volleyball player at school but now prefers the arts, especially music and dance.

Trish might be enticed into the cricket arena when she hears of the fabulous trips already on offer. ‘We’ve already had an invitation from Argentina and Bermuda and Canada are already playing at this level. We just want to get going and get the ladies up to it, then we’ll have the exchange visits.’

  • To get involved and more information on Sunday’s women’s fun day, ring Merta Day on 916 5232.
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