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HER GAME TOO CRICKET APPOINTS ADVOCATE FOR LANCASHIRE CCC & THUNDER

by Paige Caunce


Her Game Too Cricket’s new Advocate for Lancashire County Cricket Club and Thunder, Alison Wren, hopes to help make the sport a more accessible and welcoming place for women through her role.



Alison grew up in Scotland, where opportunities to attend live cricket matches and for women and girls to play the game themselves were extremely limited.


It was her father’s passion for the sport and the sound of bat on ball and live commentary filling the airwaves at home that led to her developing a love of cricket herself.



After years of following games through the radio and television, she finally got the chance to attend her first Test match at The Oval in London, between England and the West Indies, in the 1970s.


She also found herself having to wait for the opportunity to play cricket herself - with her gender proving to be a barrier to finding a team when she was younger.


Alison recalls: “When I was a teenager, my mum rang the local cricket club to ask about me playing and they offered to let me help with the teas.”


This limited her involvement in cricket to watching and supporting, with her hero being Tony Greig, who was at Sussex County Cricket Club at the time.


Having moved to the North West, she now regularly visits Old Trafford to support the Red Rose of Lancashire County Cricket Club and Thunder.


Her first taste of a live Thunder game involved a visit to the seaside town of Blackpool, in the days when they competed in the Kia Super League (KSL) - an occasion she describes as “so exciting to see professional women’s cricket”.


As the game has developed over the years, opportunities for people to get involved in the sport have grown considerably with the introduction of a variety of different forms of cricket - one of which Alison has embraced.


Walking Cricket, an adapted version of the game catering for players with less mobility and different abilities, is one form that’s been adopted by counties across the country and is successfully engaging an older generation.


In 2019, the Lancashire Cricket Foundation (LCF) set up Walking Cricket sessions aimed at men and women over 50 wanting to keep active, improve their physical and mental health, meet new friends and have fun.


When Alison saw the initiative advertised last year, she was eager to get involved and now attends weekly sessions - something she never got a chance to do in her youth.


“They are a great bunch of ladies."


“Most of us have never played before but we have lots of fun.”


If you would like to find out more about Walking Cricket with LCF, you can visit their site – here.


Despite Alison’s family embracing her love of cricket and finding opportunities to play later in life, as a woman in the game she has also experienced a darker side of the sport.



“There was a particularly unpleasant test match at The Oval where every woman who walked past a group of lads had her breasts or appearance commented on.

 

“Some matches feel more like a stag do than a sporting event, so I try to avoid the party stand whenever possible.”

  

It is a desire to prevent situations like these from deterring women from attending cricket, and wanting the next generation of girls to have opportunities to play she never had, that have inspired Alison to become a Her Game Too Cricket Advocate.

 

“I hope that the campaign ensures female fans and women’s cricket are not overlooked when administrators are making decisions about the future of the game.

 

“This is such an exciting time for women’s cricket as it develops into a fully professional game.

 

“It’s also a challenging time for the game as a whole and I want to help women’s voices be heard as cricket adapts to global changes.”

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