Maryland Youth Cricket is pleased to announce that the championship award for its groundbreaking girls’ competition will be sponsored by American Cricketers and named in honor of all-rounder Rebekah Stephenson. Rebekah’s American Cricketers Cup is emblematic of the hopes and dreams of a new generation of American girls who grow up learning to play – and love – cricket.
“I like playing cricket, because it’s fun. I love playing with my friends. We encourage each other, laugh with each other, and support one another. We make new friendships when new girls play, and strengthen our old relationships, too,” said Rebekah.
The youngest of six, Rebekah lives in Libertyville, Illinois and started playing cricket five years ago. For the last two years she has traveled to Canberra, Australia with her brother and mom to play for the Tuggeranong Valley Junior Cricket Club in both mixed and all girls competition. She earned the 2017-2018 Coach’s Award for the Girls Plate (U13) team. This October she will play for TVJCC again and attend Cricket ACT’s ACTive Academy. Her favorite female cricketer is Holly Ferling, because Holly also grew up playing cricket with boys. Rebekah got to meet Holly in November 2016 in Canberra.
Rebekah has played for the Bolingbrook Premier League (Illinois) and American Cricket Academy (Missouri), and has traveled to St Louis, Houston, and Washington, DC for tournaments. Back in Australia she took a two day bus ride from Canberra to Adelaide so she could participate in the Darren Lehmann Cricket Academy (DLCA) with players from all over the world including Kenya, Ireland, England, and India. Rebekah was the only female cricketer in the program.
Rebekah’s quest to find places to play cricket is representative of the aspirations of many American girls who want to experience our great game and is why Maryland has worked so hard to create the first US girls’ competition. We hope that Maryland’s success in creating its Girls Division will inspire similar efforts across the country, so that girls like Rebekah will no longer have to cross the globe in search of opportunities.
We also thank American Cricketers (americancricketers.com) for their support. Their mission is to offer up-and-coming cricketers experiences and training products needed to make them competitive in the international arena.