In 2022 Steelbacks in the Community saw a record number of women’s games taking place over the summer: 54 games were played in the midweek league, 69 games took place in the East Midlands Cricket League, 12 games at the Women’s Softball Festivals and 12 games at the U11G Softball Festivals. A total of 147 games were therefore played across 4 formats and 33 teams – the most ever in the county.
Women’s Midweek League:
The women’s midweek league had 8 teams enter the league in 2022: Geddington CC, Thrapston CC, Kettering Town CC, Brixworth CC, Irthlingborough CC, Haddon CC & Overstone Park CC. Across the 8 clubs there were 110 unique players and in total 54 games were played with 4984 runs scored and 301 wickets taken.
In 2023 the women’s midweek league is taking an exciting step forward and is now partnering with the Northamptonshire Cricket League, who in 2022 ran all adult cricket in Northamptonshire. This is a positive step forward, bringing the women’s game level with the men’s cricket for the first time in Northamptonshire. The hope is that this partnership will bring more clubs to the women’s game moving forward.
East Midlands Cricket League:
In 2022, 12 teams from Northamptonshire took part in the East Midlands cricket league. There are 3 different formats: Hardball 40 overs, Supers 8’s & Softball. The teams taking part in the Hardball format were Burton Latimer Town CC, Kettering Town CC & Thrapston CC. The teams taking part in the Super 8’s was: Brixworth CC, Nassington CC & Thrapston CC. Finally the teams taking place in the Softball Pairs were: Brixworth CC, Loddington & Mawsley CC & Overstone Park.
For 2023 the East Midlands cricket league has seen a growth of 35%, we have supplied 2 new teams to this league – Old CC, who are going to be taking part in the Softball Pairs league and Nassington CC, who are already part of the league are adding a team into the Hardball 40 over format. With the partnership starting with the NCL, hopefully this encourages further growth in coming years.
Steelbacks in the Community ran 2 U11 Girls softball festivals with 5 teams taking part in 2022. In total 12 games were played with 42 girls taking part. Within the Kettering & Corby Youth League, Thrapston Town entered an all-girls side into the U13 League and went the whole league season undefeated – the first time an all-girls team has won this league.
In 2023, girl’s cricket will be one of the community team’s main priorities for the year. A survey was recently shared which received a good number of responses from various clubs. The survey gathered useful information such as: the number of girls currently playing cricket at their club, what opportunities those girls received in 2022 and finally what opportunities would the club like to offer in 2023.
One of the main requests was for an U11 Softball League and an U13 Hardball League. Steelbacks in the Community have started the process of working out how these leagues will function and ensure the girls playing both have an equal opportunity to play the game but also have fun in the process.
Women’s Softball Festival:
The women’s softball festivals in 2022 saw 8 different teams take part in 2 different softball festivals. 84 unique players took part in these festivals with 12 games being played. In 2023 the aim is to run 4 women’s softball festivals in each month between May & September with a break in August. The aim of these festivals is to reach out to teams/women who don’t already participate in club cricket and give them the opportunity to play in a relaxed and fun environment.