Some of the supporters at the game last Saturday. Photos by Shiek Mohamed

Female Players Eager To Compete
By John L. Aaron
Game 1 Scorecard | Game 2 Scorecard

Despite a cricket season that’s in the sunset of 2012 in New York City, several female cricketers and some aspiring ones are demonstrating an eagerness to be part of a revitalized cricketing movement among their peers.

Doris Francis in action during one of her bowling spell.

Following several coaching sessions with West Indies women’s cricket coach Stephanie Power and USA national coach Linden Fraser, the ranks of interested women cricketers have grown, and interest appears to be at an all-time high. The most dynamic ingredient is the mix of women participating in the now revitalized program under the continuing watchful eyes of coach Linden Fraser, New York Women’s Cricket Coordinator Venelda Wallace, Regional Representative Krish Prasad, and the region’s Marketing Director Dyon Ravello. There are no fewer than eight national women players romping alongside their younger male counterparts every weekend at the Spring Creek Cricket Ground in Brooklyn, NY.

For the past two weekends, some sixteen ladies have engaged in drills and scrubby matches involving several of the regional Under-15 lads in New York. The scrubby matches have been extremely useful according to Coach Fraser, “They provide realistic match scenarios in a competitive environment, which is great to help elevate the skills of the women players, while providing an on par opportunity for the Under-15 players.”

Coach Fraser was complimentary in his praise of those players who had traveled some distances to get to the ground for the 10:00 am start of the double-header event. He singled out Ms. Rohani Patel, 14 years-old who was up at 6:00 am to travel from Virginia to participate in the day’s matches, before traveling back to the Commonwealth State.

Despite the outlook being very bleak for a national women’s tournament in the US this year, the energy level and enthusiasm of the New York women cricketers and a few from the neighboring State of New Jersey, appear to be very high. New York Women’s Coordinator Venelda Wallace, in reiterating the objective of the training program, said, “We want to keep the interest level high, while providing an opportunity for the ladies to maintain a level of fitness and skills, so that they would be ready when called upon to play in any tournament.”

Rohani Patel, 14 years old, came all the way from Virginia for the games.

In a double-header clash last weekend against the Under-15 lads, the ladies were defeated by 50 runs in the first match, however, in the second match the sparse crowd on hand witnessed a nail-biting draw, as the lads scored 60 runs in 18 overs, (restricted with the bowling help of at least two under-15 lads) only to see the women claw, scratch, and wiggle their way to a match-ending 60 runs as well on the very last ball of the 18-overs contest. The Women’s XI included national players Doris Francis, Triholder Marshall, Karen Bayles, Delkash Shahriarian, Grace Chadderton-Richards, and Melissa Sandy. Doris Francis with figures of 4-0-16-3 and Triholder Marshall 3-0-3-2 and Karen Bayles 2-0-10-1 were among the day’s wicket-takers.

National Regional Representative Krish Prasad stated that, “Despite the ladies not playing a lot of cricket during the past 10 months at the regional level, he appreciated the level of enthusiasm, and dedication shown by the women players.” He openly apologized to the ladies present for the lack of any formal regional tournaments organized at the national level for the past year.