On the heels of a terrific season in which they won the inaugural Cricket Switzerland Premier League title and reached the semifinals of the T20 and T10 competitions, Cossonay Cricket Club recently tested the waters of women’s cricket by holding an open day for women and girls of all ages.
The response was resoundingly positive, with 23 ladies showing up at Cossonay’s En Marche ground on a sunny Saturday afternoon. The group spanned the entire spectrum from total novices to those who have coached cricket.
“As an Aussie, playing cricket is something I’ve done from a really young age and it is a sport I love, so it was great to be able to go back to my youth and enjoy the great session that the Cossonay Cricket Club put on,” said Liz Fulton, who used to coach cricket in London. “I was happy to see so many women on the field, enjoying either a sport they love or enjoying a new sport.”
For some it was indeed entirely new. Jovana Vukoje, for example, is a former Serbian national basketball player but had only just about heard of cricket. She came along with a friend and picked up some of the skills rather quick, thanks to her natural athleticism.
“The amazing thing was seeing women and girls of all skill levels really enjoying the game together,” said Bharath Narayan, one of four men’s team players who ran the afternoon’s coaching. Along with club captain Andrew Ryan and two other teammates, he introduced the group to the basics of batting, bowling and fielding but focused most on ensuring they all had fun.
While many of the beginners were learning the basics for the time, for many others it was about rediscovering a game they had last played decades ago.
“We focused on that message while sending out our communication,” said Tina Sharma, Cossonay Cricket Club’s PR Officer. “Our flyer literally said it doesn’t matter if you’ve never picked up a bat in your life, or even if it’s been 20-30 years since you last held one! It’s a great chance to play without hesitation or embarrassment.”
“I really think that worked.”
The first session was a big hit and a second one was planned almost immediately. Many of the women present expressed the desire to train relatively frequently and the club is working on a plan to create training opportunities through the winter season.