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Skirting the boundary

skirtingI’ve interviewed cricket stars for Bea previously, so was intrigued to be invited to the press launch of Isabelle Duncan’s brand-new book, Skirting the Boundary – a history of women’s cricket.

The blurb describes it thus:

 The best place to begin is at the beginning, when ladies made their first mark in cricket in the late 18th century amid frantic betting and rowdy crowd scenes. Then on to the highs and lows of the 19th and 20th centuries and culminating in our 21st century heroines, who are dominating world cricket and are on the cusp of going professional.

It traces the history of the ladies’ game, delving into a sometimes murky past and revealing the recent explosion in its popularity.Skirting the Boundary brings to light some of the more remarkable and interesting stories and women who have had some sort of love affair with this great game.

Because Duncan is donating half of the book’s profits to the cricketing charity Chance to Shine, it wasn’t surprising to learn the launch was being hosted at Lord’s, the spiritual home of the game (although a spiritual home which has long had a reputation of being a men’s club, exemplified by its old rules of not letting the ladyfolk in certain parts of the ground).

So on the roof terrace at the beautiful Lord’s cricket ground, it was wonderful to see it packed with people who wanted to celebrate the book’s publication – journalists such as compere for the evening Alison Mitchell, celebrities including Sir Tim Rice, and cricket people including England’s Susie Rowe and Lydia Greenway, head of women’s cricket Clare Connor, and even the y-chromosomed players were represented through former England captain Mike Gatting.

Cricket can seem an obscure game if you’ve never been fully inducted into it, but as England, led by Lottie Edwards once again, prepare to take on Australia for the Ashes, I’d urge you to get to one of their games – and maybe, just maybe, even if you’re not inspired enough to pick up a bat yourself, you might be inspired enough to pick up Duncan’s book – and find out about the generations of women who have fought in a male-dominated world just to play the sport they love.

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About Carrie

Journalist. Sports fan. Doting auntie. Musical theatre lover. Warcraft geek. World's foremost expert on all things Steven Howard. What would CM Punk do?

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This entry was posted on June 9, 2013 by in Bea Literary, Bea Sporty and tagged , , .
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