Cricket 2 years ago

Girls-only cricket 'not good for skills'

  • Girls-only cricket 'not good for skills'

    BRISTOL, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Heather Knight of England is run out by a direct throw from Meg Lanning as wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy and bowler Sarah Coyte (R) of Australia celebrate during the 2nd Royal London ODI of the Women's Ashes Series between England and Australia Women at The County Ground on July 23, 2015 in Bristol, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Southern Stars bowler Sarah Coyte has questioned Cricket Australia's decision to funnel money into girls-only cricket competition.

Initiatives announced on Wednesday will see part of a $4 million Growing Cricket for Girls funding plan pushed towards creating community-level competitions for girls aged between 11 and 18.

However Coyte, who has played 81 matches for Australia in all forms of the game, is concerned it could prove counter-productive for skills development within the women's game.

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"It's going to take away from the development of the girls as players," Coyte told AAP.

"Look at your best players in the world, go ask them, and I will guarantee every one of them has played against boys and men - that's where they started."

The influx of female participation to around 300,000 in the sport has seen the growth of such competitions at local level in recent years.

However at the top of Coyte's list of concerns is the vast skill disparity between the strongest players and those below them in girls cricket.

"You can't keep yourself interested when you've got two or three good players and then the rest below average.

"At the moment most young girls can match it with the varying skills of the boys at club level, and then they already have representative cricket for the all-girls stuff."

The funding is part of a $1 million-per-year commitment by Cricket Australia to grow the women's game off the back of the success of the WBBL in its inaugural season.

And while the 25-year-old, who has taken 100 international wickets, welcomed the increase in funds, she believed it would be better spent targeting a younger age.

"You need to target younger girls when they are six or seven, and put money into bringing them into the game when they haven't picked sports yet."

Part of the funding announcement also included another $2 million towards female participation specialists in clubs, associations and secondary schools.

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