Can you tell us about your passion for cricket?
My father took me to my first test match when I was 8. He had a real passion for cricket and passed it on to me. I started playing at school, eventually taking on different roles over time – captain, umpire, game organiser until I eventually became Chairman of Sussex Women’s Cricket Association for about 10 years.
I still vividly remember attending a women’s game in Guilford in 1993. England beat Australia that day to reach the World Cup’s final. That was the turning point for me: after that, I started following women’s cricket at local and national level and have been passionate about it ever since.
When I started watching women’s cricket in the middle to late nineties, I noticed that cameras appeared to be almost totally absent from the boundary at women’s matches. It seemed wrong to me that while men playing the sport at the highest level would have a fine scrap book at the end of their careers, women players wearing their country and county shirts would not.
That’s how I got involved. I had a passion for photography all my life and ended up capturing the evolution of the game in the last two decades. Needless to say, I am very proud to have created the earliest surviving website entirely dedicated to the women’s game: womenscricket.net.
What challenges are girls and women cricketers still facing?
The first challenge might simply be finding a club! It sometimes can be difficult to find a local one just happy to let girls and women form a team and play. Another challenge can be clothing. Hard to believe that only 20 years ago women were still playing in skirts! Even though things have evolved since then, most sportswear still does not seem to be shaped for women. Many shirts, for instance, are still too short for them to be truly comfortable when they play. This, eventually, can have an impact on the way they perform, and this is again terribly wrong. Another challenge is probably visibility compared to their male counterparts. This sport has deserved wider coverage for years and it is heartening to see it slowly reaching towards the status it deserves.