Getting more women and girls involved with cricket is of huge importance to us, says Charlotte Edwards
Former International captain Charlotte Edwards insists Derby can roar England’s cricketers onto success when the ICC Women’s World Cup kicks off in the city next month.
From June 24-July 23, England and Wales will host the tournament for the first time since 1993, with The County Ground, Derby set to stage eight fixtures - including England’s opening day clash with India.
Edwards, who skipped England for a decade before retiring from international cricket in 2016, was in the city on Thursday as part of the Nissan Trophy Tour, taking the ICC Women’s World Cup silverware, as well as the ICC Champions Trophy, on a tour of some of Derby’s landmarks.
With a visit to The Roundhouse first on the agenda, Edwards soon swapped her bat for a bike at Derby Arena, enjoying her very first taste of track cycling.
From there, the Tour continued onto Curzon C of E Primary School in Quarndon, where she joined in with a cricket session with pupils, before culminating at the County Ground - and Edwards is confident this summer’s tournament can have a lasting effect on the city’s youngsters.
“I’ve played [in Derby] a lot for England,” said Edwards. “The ground has changed a lot over the years in terms of the wicket being turned around, but it’s a great venue for women’s cricket and always well supported.
“I think everyone is really looking forward to the first match here on June 24, England versus India and it’s a sell-out, so you can’t ask for much more than that.
“I hope that there will be lots of young girls and boys in the crowd to cheer England on.
“England will love the fact that they can get home support in this tournament, and we want these grounds filled for their games to hopefully spur them on to many victories throughout their campaign.
“The kids we met today were absolutely fantastic. It was great to go to a small school, see the appetite and enthusiasm for cricket, and they were actually really talented as well. They asked some really good questions - some of them knew more about me than I do!
“They’re aware of the World Cup, they got to see the trophies, and it’s such an inspiration for these young children.”
Derby will host two England games as they bid for a fourth ICC Women’s World Cup title - welcoming the White Ferns of New Zealand on July 12 in addition to India - as well as a semi-final bout.
And with thousands of fans set to descend on British shores for the tournament, the eyes of the world are set on the women’s game - something Derbyshire CCC hope they can capitalise on.
“The Women’s World Cup is now just over a month away, and we in Derby are very much looking forward to it,” said Conor Percy, Women’s World Cup legacy officer at Derbyshire CCC.
“We’re hoping that the Women’s World Cup will make a difference to girls’ cricket in Derby, with increased participation, getting people through the gate on a matchday, and getting local schools and clubs involved.
“Getting more women and girls involved with cricket is of huge importance to us. There are so many who want to play but perhaps don’t think they have that opportunity.
“But by getting into clubs within their communities, they realise that they can play and have that opportunity, so we just need to make that the key focus.
“Everybody at Derbyshire is so excited. Everything has been planned and it’s now in the delivery mode.
“We just can’t wait for that first game and opening ceremony here in Derby.”
The ICC Women’s World Cup 24 June - 23 July will see the best women’s ODI teams in the world compete for ultimate glory this summer. Tickets available at icc-cricket.com/tickets
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