Updated: Wednesday, 19th September 2018 @ 4:17pm

Women's cricket set to soar in Lancashire thanks to return of 'soft ball' festivals

Women's cricket set to soar in Lancashire thanks to return of 'soft ball' festivals

| By Tom Harle

A scheme launched to mark the growth of women's cricket in Lancashire will more than treble in size this summer.  

Lancashire Cricket Foundation have revealed their Women's Soft Ball Cricket festivals will return for a second edition in a far-expanded form.  

After only 12 clubs hosted last year, over 40 clubs in the north-west will stage one-day events that aim to engage 1,500 more women in the game.  

"We are delighted to be working with so many local cricket clubs throughout the county," said Julie Durrant, co-ordinating the scheme for the Foundation.   

"All events have been planned to ensure that women feel supported, relaxed and able to learn new skills in an inclusive atmosphere. 

"The festivals target women who are new to cricket and encourages them to come along and enjoy a great first experience of the game." 

The programme was launched by the ECB in 2017 to mark its staging of the Women's Cricket World Cup.  

The England team's victory in the final against India, watched by a TV audience of over a million, seems to have contributed to a surge in interest.  

Nationally, over 1,900 festivals will take place this summer as opposed to 272 last year.  

The tournaments are based around six-sided games, played with a soft ball and underarm bowling - rules 'designed to be fast, fun and easy to pick up.' 

Branded 'Prosecco Cricket' in Lancashire, 12 festivals took place at clubs including Shaw, Littleborough, Chorley, Rishton, Euxton and Ashton.  

They are set to run from early May to September this year, Shaw Cricket Club hosting the first on Sunday May 6 from 1pm.  

Teams of six cost £25 to enter, there is no dress code and all necessary equipment will be provided.  

To book your team or for more information about the full festival programme, please contact Julie on 07507057692 or by email jdurrant@lccc.co.uk

Image courtesy of Lancashire Cricket Board via YouTube, with thanks.