Women’s and girl’s cricket is booming in Worcestershire with a 74 per cent increase in the number participating in the game during the past 12 months.

During that period 1,445 women and girls in the County have picked up a bat or ball compared to 832 in 2018.

In addition, the number of clubs or sections offering opportunities to women and girls in Worcestershire has more than doubled during the same period from 10 to 22.

It is a hugely encouraging trend with women’s cricket in the spotlight more than ever after England’s World Cup success, the growth of All Stars Cricket and the forthcoming involvement in The Hundred next summer.

Worcestershire Cricket Development Director, Tom Raymond-Hill, is confident this upward trend will continue during the next 12 months and beyond.

He said: “We’ve seen over the last 12 months record numbers of women and girls picking up a bat and ball in Worcestershire which is great to see, especially on the back of the ECB launching a brand new strategy around transforming women’s and girl’s cricket.

“We’ve actually got a really solid foundation to build on. Over the last 12 months we’ve grown the number of women and girls playing the game in Worcestershire by nearly 74 per cent.

“There were just over 800 women and girls picking up a bat and ball in 2018 to nearly 1500 in 2019. It is significant growth for us as a county and great to see the number of clubs and teams that have bought into and really engaged with women’s and girls cricket.

“We’ve grown from 10 clubs or sections offering opportunities for women and girls to 22 over a 12- month period.

“It is testament to the hard work of the team, the clubs and the volunteers who are really getting behind this on the back of All Stars and more girls coming into the game there, the women’s softball cricket.

“That has really helped us transform how women’s sport and women’s cricket is perceived and huge credit to Jess Ward, our women and girls development officer for overseeing and leading this change.

“It is really exciting to see mums picking up a bat and a ball, playing softball cricket and then daughters following them.

“We are now beginning to see the fruits of our labour of the last two years.

“We’ve got some indoor competitions running across the winter to try and keep the girls together which will be softball-based. If anyone is interested please contact jess.ward@wccc.co.uk”

Raymond-Hill added: “We are forecasting continued growth over the next 12 months in particular and beyond that.

“Really exciting times and I’ve no doubts it will kick on and go from strength to strength.

“The Hundred is being played at Blackfinch New Road next year and that again will put the spotlight on the women’s game and show girls that ‘cricket is a game for me.’

“With the central contracts now and The Hundred, there has probably never been a better time for young girl’s coming into the game.”