Forget about the gentle hush of the crowd, respectfully watching cricket players clad in impeccable whites. The new era of women’s cricket in Hamilton is vibrant and bold.
The new Skycity Hamilton Northern Premier League (NPL) has attracted an exciting mix of top class and emerging players for its four-team independent competition.
This fresh new approach to the women’s game has paid off for Northern Districts Cricket, with the Skycity Hamilton NPL featuring players from New Zealand and overseas including 13 internationals.
Included in the mix are current and former White Ferns Sara McGlashan, Anna Peterson, Morna Neilson, Maddy Green, Natalie Dodd, Liz Perry, Sam Curtis, Katie Perkins, and Holly Huddleston; Jennifer Gray and Catriona Beggs who both played for Ireland; Samoan captain Regina Lili’i; and Kerry Tomlinson, a Northern Spirit player who has appeared for the Netherlands national side.
The teams, named Sonic, Galaxy, Velocity and Power, are non-regional and evenly loaded in ability and specialities. The naming of the teams, bright modern uniforms and format of the Skycity NPL are designed to raise the profile and appeal of cricket among younger female athletes – as well as providing a further competitive platform for established players.
Kari Carswell, former head coach/player for Scotland and newly appointed women’s cricket officer for Northern Districts Cricket, is excited about what the Skycity Hamilton NPL will bring to women’s cricket in New Zealand.
“There is real emphasis from everyone involved to help raise the profile of the female game, not only in Northern Districts but in New Zealand. It’s great that there’s going to be a number of White Ferns and other internationals playing, it will make for a competitive tournament.”
The NPL will be collaborating with local district associations to help promote cricket further among young girls.
“We will be organising and running coaching clinics for girls before the games and we are working closely with our district associations to make the match days spectacular,” says Kari.
“We want to see females of all ages come out and support the competition and for those who are playing in it, I’m sure it will be a positive experience for all involved.”