In an historic first, English International women’s cricketer Sarah Taylor will make her SACA A grade debut for the Northern Jets in their 2015-16 season opener against Port Adelaide at Salisbury Oval tomorrow.
Taylor will play in the side under the leadership of Redbacks and Glamorgan cricketer Mark Cosgrove and has been selected as a batsman/keeper.
While Taylor is not the first women to play through the grades in SACA district competitions – Karen Rolton holds that honour a couple of decades ago – she is the first to play A or first grade as it’s now known.
“Sarah is one of the world’s best in the women’s game and we’ve picked her as our keeper/batsman,” Cosgrove said.
“She is there to do her job and make some runs.
“At this stage she’ll bat at number eight and hold the tail together.
“Sarah is the best option we have as the keeper and has been picked on merit.”
He said Taylor’s biggest challenge will be to deal with increased pace and bounce, as well as the size’s the ball used in men’s competition.
In the men’s cricket, the ball must weigh between 156 and 163 grams (51/2 and 53/4 ounces) and measure between 224 and 229 millimetres (813/16 and 9 inches) in circumference. In the women’s games the ball must weigh from 140 to151 grams (415/16 to 55/16 ounces) and measure between 210 and 225 mm (8.3 and 8.9 in) in circumference.
Back in November 2010, NSW and Australian dual sports champion Ellyse Perry created her own piece of cricket history.
She becomes the first woman in 117 years to play Sydney grade cricket against men.
Perry, then a 20-year-old, opened the bowling and took 2-14 from four overs for Sydney Cricket Club in an under-21 Twenty20 match against Blacktown.
Current South Australian Scorpions captain Lauren Ebsary, during her stint in Western Australia, played a D grade game with the Midlands Gilford Cricket Club.
Taylor had an outstanding start to the Women’s National Cricket League season in Perth last weekend.
In the high scoring win by South Australia over competition yardstick the NSW Breakers, Taylor produced a brilliant century.
In her contribution to the thrilling last ball victory, Taylor made 101 from 103 deliveries faced and dispatched eight boundaries.
She followed that up with a classy 38 (run out) against the Western Australian Fury.
Taylor started playing against the boys back in Britain during her school days.
Along with England teammate Holly Colvin, Taylor (then 17) were both pupils at Brighton College, an independent school in East Sussex, back in 2008.
Their head teacher, Richard Cairns, suggested at the time that playing inter-school cricket at the top level against boys had given the his girls an edge.
Taylor has played eight women’s tests, 98 50-over internationals and a further 73 T20 contests for her country.
First debuting for England in her mid-teens Taylor is in her second year in the SA Scorpions WNCL program.
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