While the performances of Sophia Smale and Seren Smale couldn't fail to catch the eye at the inaugural ICC Women's U19 World Cup, we are also fortunate and proud to have female officials and senior volunteers blazing a trail in Welsh Cricket.
You may have also seen Anna Harris on the field at the U19 World Cup. She was part of the all-female officiating team which also set a precedent at ICC global events.
Reflecting on her time at the tournament, Anna told us, "This World Cup was a milestone event for Women’s Cricket for a few reasons: the first all-female umpiring and match referee panel, and the first time South Africa (Men or Women) had made a World Cup Final. To be a part of history was a fantastic experience.
"The World Cup was my second ICC tournament, with my first being the Men’s Cricket World Cup Challenge League B Tournament in Jersey last August. However, this was my first ICC Women’s Tournament, and I made my International T20 Debut on-field as well as my International TV Umpire Debut in the India v Pakistan game.
"I was involved in 9 games in total – 4 on-field, 2 as TV umpire and 3 as fourth umpire. I ended up being the 4th official for the England v India game due to umpire sickness and it was a privilege to have the rare experience of being a match official for a World Cup game involving my home team.
The games were broadcast on tevision via various providers across the globe and the final between South Africa and Australia was a sell-out with fans queuing for 3 hours to try and get tickets. It showcased the rise of women’s cricket, especially in South Africa, and the passion of a nation to get behind a team that had showed heart and determination to the very end.
"Hopefully more women and girls will pick up a ball, swing a bat, grab a scoresheet, give coaching a go and/or don the umpire coat to get involved in cricket in some way after this. Personally, I really enjoyed my time in Cape Town and Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth) and managed to find some time amongst the cricket to do some sightseeing. I will cherish memories made here forever and will look back fondly on the historic event I’ve been a part of."
Meanwhile, Lucy Norman is one of two women who have been appointed as Chair of their ECB accredited Premier Leagues. Lucy (pictured right) will lead the North Wales Cricket League while Helen Ross (left of main image) will also take the helm of the Surrey Championship this year. Both ladies were featured recently in the ECB's Raising The Game bulletin.
For the past 10 years Lucy has been involved in Cricket Club Management and League Administration in North Wales.
Until recently Lucy fulfilled the role of Club Secretary of Buckley CC and was an integral part of a Management Committee that transformed the club into a thriving sport and social facility – growing membership and enhancing the club facilities.
For a number of years Lucy also sat on the North East Wales Junior League committee as Treasurer before being appointed as Vice Chair of North Wales Cricket League. In November 2022 Lucy officially became the first Female Chair of the League.
Lucy’s experience in office at her local cricket club enables her to fully appreciate the challenges that face her member Cricket Clubs – from volunteer and player recruitment, fundraising and the increasing administration demands on volunteers.
Cricket is a huge part of her family life with two talented sons; Lucy’s youngest son William, has been part of the Wales boys pathway and her eldest son Joseph represented Cheshire and now is part of the inaugural Wales National Counties North squad. Both play their cricket in the North Wales and this year will see them play together in the 1st XI at Brymbo Cricket Club.
In her professional life Lucy has enjoyed many Senior Marketing, Data and Product management roles in various large companies. Currently Lucy works for Liverpool based on-line retailer The Very Group as Product Lead for Martech & Data.