More than 130 of the most talented young female cricketers in NSW battled it out this week in the PSSA state girls’ cricket carnival — hailed a resounding success by those attending.ROBERT HENSON March 5, 2014 4:30am
More than 130 of the most talented young female cricketers in NSW battled it out last week in the PSSA state girls’ cricket carnival — hailed a resounding success by those attending.
Combined Independent Schools took home the shield in the final on Thursday afternoon, making 144 runs before bowling Mackillop out for 45.
Thirteen regional teams from across the state took part across seven fixtures in four days at Cobram Showgrounds, Barooga Recreation Reserve, Berrigan, Tocumwal and Strathmerton.
It was hosted by the Riverina Schools Sports Association on behalf of the NSW PSSA.
From the carnival, 24 girls were selected to join a NSW state squad, from which 12 will be chosen to be part of the NSW team at the national championships in Darwin in June.
Riverina Schools Sports Association carnival manager Wayne Bradley said it was a ‘‘no brainer’’ to hold the final at Barooga.
‘‘It’s the best cricketing facilities in the Riverina, without a doubt,’’ Bradley said.
NSW PSSA president Barry McColl said the carnival was invaluable cricket experience for the girls, some who would go on to wear the baggy green.
‘‘Some of these kids will play for Australia in international events, but it’s up to them to pursue it,’’ McColl said.
Australian all-rounder in women’s cricket and soccer Elyse Perry is an oft-mentioned alumni, after playing in three such state carnivals over her primary school career.
McColl said the feedback on the venue, organisation and local hospitality had been ‘‘idyllic’’.
‘‘Especially for primary school-aged kids, to be on a ground of this stature is a life memory for them.’’
Started in 1996, the state carnival grows in participation each year and is a marker of growth in women’s cricket.
‘‘Now we have a national women’s team playing a world cup and a national league of women’s clubs — this (carnival) is where that pathway starts and kids can see that,’’ McColl said.
NSW primary girls manager and coach of the north-west NSW team at the carnival Beth Hodge said the carnival’s standard was good in comparison with previous years.
Hodge said such carnivals were important to the development of women’s cricket.
‘‘This is grassroots. You’ve got 150 girls playing seven matches of cricket, the enthusiasm builds — things like this keep them in the game,’’ she said.
‘‘They go home and hopefully keep playing. If they’re in country areas they will have to play against boys.’’
Hodge said while girls in metropolitan areas could often access girls’ leagues, others played in mixed competitions.
‘‘It’s an important thing socially (to have all-girls competition), it would be nice if we had more of them.’’
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