KEEN female cricketers at Ellesmere College were treated to a visit from a former England international on the weekend.

Lydia Greenway who represented England’s national side delivered a masterclass at the school on Saturday to encourage young girls to take up the sport.

As part of her initiative “Cricket for Girls”, Lydia delivered the two-hour session which went over all aspects of the game alongside coach Evelyn Jones who captains Lancashire Cricket Club, who will lead a Cricket for Girls Hub through the summer term based at the College.

Lydia, who featured for England in 14 test matches and 126 one day internationals, was pleased to see such a good level of interest from the youngsters in attendance.

“I think it’s really important to inspire younger girls in sports like cricket,” she said.

“Today we had a good mixture of girls – some of them had played county cricket before whereas some girls were fairly new to the sport.

“I think it’s important that whatever ability you’re at, you still get the opportunity to play the game.

“Today was more about making sure they enjoyed the sessions and judging by the feedback we got at the end I think we were able to do that quite well.

“There was less interest when I was starting out in cricket, and I think that was partly to do with the fact that any girls wanting to play the game then would have to play in the boys’ team.

“I think it took a certain type of girl to be content in that environment, but nowadays you get a lot of girls who play the game because they enjoy it. They might not necessarily have the aspiration of playing for England, so it’s very much about creating the right environment for both types of players.”

Director of Cricket at Ellesmere College Gareth Owen added: “We feel as though girl’s cricket has become very popular here at Ellesmere, it particularly across north Shropshire and into Wales.

“We were able to get in touch with Lydia and she’s done a lot for the girl’s game across the country.

“So, she’s come along today to deliver a masterclass to girls from our school and beyond.

“She’s a very experienced player as is Evelyn who has helped out a lot and will be here throughout the summer – she’s a very experienced payer herself and she’s going to help to develop the game of our cricketers here at the school.

“We had 16 girls here today which is a good number, and in terms of the number of girls interested in the sport at the school, the number has increased massively over the years.

“Lydia being an ex-England player and Evelyn being involved with the England set-up gives the girls role models and someone to aspire to be like, so it’s absolutely essential and it creates a buzz around here to have them visit.”