- Australia and Sri Lanka took part in ICC Cricket for Good coaching clinics with school children in Bristol and Derby
- Australia is currently top of the ICC Women’s World Cup table, while Sri Lanka is still looking for its first win
- Amanda Wellington said: “It’s great to be involved in such an exciting project to get those kids to play cricket.”
- Shashikala Siriwardena said: “We had a good session with the kids and it’s really helped us mentally.”
Australia and Sri Lanka took time out of their busy ICC Women’s World Cup schedules to help get more children playing cricket as part of the ICC’s Cricket for Good initiative.
Southern Stars spinner Amanda Wellington was joined by Belinda Vakarewa and Sarah Aley at a coaching clinic at the County Ground in Bristol where the cricketers put 30 pupils from Glenfrome Primary School through their paces.
And after dishing out a masterclass in the art of catching, Wellington revealed she has been amazed at how the popularity of the women’s game has grown in recent times.
The 20-year-old said: “It’s really good to see so many girls out there today, usually you see more boys but today we’ve seen a lot of girls.
“I think the World Cup in England, you’ve seen crowds coming no matter what game it is so it’s really exciting to see where cricket is going these days. The women’s game has been growing and growing which is great to see.
“Women’s cricket has been growing for so long and it’s ridiculous to see how good a position it’s in now. It’s always crucial to get more children in cricket so it’s great to be involved in such an exciting project to get those kids to play cricket. I look forward to keep helping inspire more children.”
Australia has four wins from four in the tournament and looks set to qualify for the semi-finals as it attempts to defend its crown.
Contrastingly, Sri Lanka is yet to register its first win despite Chamari Athapaththu’s heroics against Australia.
But Shashikala Siriwardena, who was joined by teammates Oshadhi Ranasinghe, Dilani Manodara and Athapaththu in Derby to deliver a special cricket session to 30 pupils from Derwent Community School, believes the squad has been united by helping inspire more children to take up the sport.
Sirwardena said: “We are all really happy to be here and show just how much cricket can inspire children. The girls are here as well which is fantastic.
“The team is really united and we think we have done really well. Although we haven’t won yet, individually we have performed as we had hoped to, so we just have to handle the pressure of the situation in the next three matches.
“We had a good session with the kids, it’s really helped us mentally and we are really happy to be with them. That can benefit us as a team for the next few matches.”
The countries took part in the coaching event as part of the ICC Cricket for Good initiative, in partnership with UNICEF and Chance to Shine.
All eight competing nations will be holding the clinics at the ICC Women’s World Cup venues during the tournament as part of the scheme aimed at leveraging the vast power and reach of cricket to transform the lives of children and families worldwide.