BY ALEX TIGANI
The next generation of women’s cricket talent had an opportunity to hone their craft in Singleton this week.
Both Howe Park and Cook Park played host to the inaugural Cricket NSW Country Youth Championships for under-15 girls with nine teams competing.
Cricket NSW’s Youth Championships officer Jess McMahon hopes this week will mark the first of many state tournaments to be hosted by Singleton.
“As soon as I saw the venues a few months ago I said this was perfect,” Miss McMahon told The Hunter River Times.
“This week has been a success due to the commitment of Singleton’s groundskeepers for producing pristine fields ready to go.”
The local Hunter Valley team played host to travelling sides from Newcastle, Central Coast, Illawarra, Riverina, Western, Mid North Coast, Northern Inland and North Coast.
Even if this championship expands to 16 teams, to match the boys in the coming years, McMahon believes Singleton could still host an eight team Northern Pool.
This news was music to the ears of Singleton mayor Sue Moore who was on hand for the coin toss of the opening match between Illawarra and Western at Cook 1 on Tuesday morning.
“Thank you for being here, congratulations for being the first teams to play here and we look forward to hosting many more,” Cr Moore declared.
Another interested onlooker was Singleton cricket historian Mick Akrill.
Two decades earlier, he umpired the final of the NSW PSSA girls cricket tournament held at Howe Park.
That tournament produced five future topflight talents including current Australian captain Meg Lanning AM, Ellyse Perry and Alyssa Healy.