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‘Super 8s’ – a new concept for Girls and Women’s Cricket

Nigel Jones

On Friday 27th April 2012 a concept was turned into reality when a new format of the game for Girls and Women’s Cricket, ‘Super 8s’, was launched by Cricket Ireland in conjunction with the Northern Cricket Union.  The concept was presented to invited guests by Nigel Jones, the Northern Cricket Union Cricket Development Officer.  Tim Simmonite, Cricket Ireland’s National Development Manager, was also in attendance to give the guests an overview of the current landscape of Girls and Women’s Cricket in Ireland and in particular Northern Ireland. 

In his talk Tim identified the challenge to both engage and encourage participation in the Girls game between the stages of softball Kwik Cricket and Women’s hardball cricket.  ‘Super 8s’ has been designed to bridge the gap between the two. 'Super 8s’ – a new concept for Girls and Women’s Cricket

The ‘Super 8s’ launch has been some time in the making and it would not have been possible without the support and attendance of a key group of people.  There were over twenty personnel from the following schools, clubs, council and sporting backgrounds invited to the presentation:

Bloomfield Collegiate, Ballyclare High School, Wallace High School, Down High School, Friends’ School Lisburn, Sullivan Upper School, Methodist College, Belfast High School, Ballymena Academy, Grosvenor Grammar School, Banbridge Academy, CSNI C.C, Waringstown C.C, Instonians C.C, Coleraine C.C, BCSDN, NICSSA, Play Ball, the Northern Cricket Union, the North West Cricket Union and Cricket Ireland.

Special thanks must go to Bloomfield Collegiate and Ballyclare High School for providing the two teams who demonstrated the new game on the day, Paul Shaw from Play Ball for providing the venue and Whistles Restaurant from The Pavilion, Stormont, for the catering arrangements. 

The game was played under sunny skies on the sand-based Astroturf hockey pitch at the Play Ball Complex in the grounds of the Stormont Estate, Belfast.  In its simplest terms, the game consists of 2 teams of 8 players per side, 16 over innings, a targeted age group of 13-17 year old Girls, full cricket protective equipment being used and the game played with a composite ‘Incrediball’; with the view to progressing onto a hard cricket ball when standards and confidence levels improve.  The framework and finer details for ‘Super 8s’ have been designed to allow for a degree of flexibility so that any obstacles to participation and gameplay which may arise can be overcome, e.g. skill/confidence levels or the surface area or facility on which the game is to be played.

The launch day produced successful outcomes and great feedback from the players and invited guests, with five schools in the Northern Cricket Union region already interested in planning fixtures in late May/June 2012 using the ‘Super 8s’ format.  These matches will be observed by the NCU Cricket Development Officer who will review and adjust the format if necessary, so that in time Cricket Ireland can plan to roll out ‘Super 8s’ on a far greater scale and as a result aim to further develop the Girls game of cricket. 

Brian Allen, the North West Cricket Union Cricket Development Officer, was also in attendance and is currently in the process of introducing the concept of ‘Super 8s’ to the North West Cricket Union.

Clubs, Schools or individuals interested in further details about ‘Super 8s’ should contact Nigel Jones on nigel.jones@cricketireland.ie or 07879 416121.