NEW cricket facilities have been opened in Whittington aimed at making the village the heart of the female game in the region.

Former England cricketer Laura MacLeod and current director of West Midlands Women’s Cricket was one of the guests of honour at the unveiling of the hub which will act as a base for Shropshire’s women and girls teams and the local community.

Also in attendance was Central Sparks skipper and Birmingham Phoenix batter Eve Jones who is from Whitchurch and developed her cricket career after blazing a trail on the Shropshire pathway.

She also has strong links with Whittington having been involved in coaching at the ground in the past with her dad Rod.

The official unveiling marked a remarkable transformation in the fortunes of cricket in the village.

Border Counties Advertizer: The new women's cricket hub in Whittington.

The new women's cricket hub in Whittington.

The men’s side folded after the 2016 Shropshire Cricket League season and the cricket field quickly became overgrown with sheep grazing on the field.

In 2021, the idea of bringing Whittington back to life as a hub for women and girls cricket was mooted.


Cricket Shropshire chairman Adrian Collins said: “When I came here a couple of years ago there were sheep out there on the ground and the grass was knee-high.

“It just shows you what you can achieve with a bit of vision and hard work, and of course a few bob.

“One person I would like to mention is Steve Reese, lead officer for Shropshire Cricket Board. Without his vision and drive this would not have happened. The Whittington committee have, of course, been fantastic working with him.

“What this place does now is open up opportunities for women and girls cricket.

“That is particularly important as we look to grow the game. Traditional clubs can’t always cope – they are dominated by the men’s game and boys and girls’ cricket and there just isn’t the scope on their grounds for the women’s teams."

Following on from the work done in the past two years, the club were successful in bidding for a significant grant from ECB which has seen the construction of a three-lane enclosed practice net, sight screens, pitch covers, a new non-turf pitch, pitch roller and storage container.

Mike Brunt, chairman of Whittington Cricket and Bowls Club said: “It has been a long haul over the 18 months to get to this stage, but it is evolving and we want to help women’s cricket to grow. Over the next few years we want to see this has a hub for the women and girls game in Shropshire.

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