Girls can in cricket boom

East Belmont cricketers Ashleigh Grinter, Alanah Scacco and Kelly Williams at training.

by Luke Voogt

A Geelong trio is calling for girls and women to join in the rapid expansion of female cricket across the city.

Armstrong Creek’s Ashleigh Grinter, who captains one of East Belmont’s two women’s teams, described the growth as “absolutely phenomenal”.

Another 15 teams were playing in the inaugural Barwon Women’s Cricket Competition, she said.

“We had over 20 girls show up to the first training session, which showed us we had the potential to fill two teams, and it just blew us away.”

Ashleigh grew up on cricket – both her parents are life members of Newcomb & District and her dad played two decades at the club.

She then married into another cricketing family, with her husband captaining the thirds at East Belmont.

“It’s super exciting for someone like me who’s always loved cricket but never had that natural pathway,” she said.

“I’ve already had friends, who have never considered playing, ask me what it’s like.”

Many at the club had dabbled in juniors but had nowhere to play as adults, while some were mothers of children currently playing, Ashleigh said.

Others, like wicket-keeper Alanah Scacco, were new to the sport, she said.

Impressively, Alanah had conceded few byes this year, despite many teammates still learning to bowl, Ashleigh said.

After copping some bruising to their hands in the first few weeks, most of the women quickly adapted to cricket, she said.

Ashleigh plans to apply to Geelong’s council for a This Girl Can grant, with applications open until February 17.

“I think we would be silly not to,” she said.

The grants of up to $400, for clubs to host beginner sessions, would help Geelong sportswomen showcase their love for the game, Ashleigh said.

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