Lady Cricketers Take On Australian Challenge
Published: 15 Mar 2016 updated: 12 Apr 2016
HOWZAT? Members of the Royal Air Force Ladies Cricket team have returned home after taking part in a historic Overseas Visit to compete in the inaugural International Armed Forces women's cricket championships in Australia.
The 15-strong squad received a £1,500 grant from the RAF Charitable Trust to help fund their trip Down Under. The visit included matches played at grounds around the Australian capital, Canberra, as well as Defence Engagement activities with fellow competitors from the British Army, Royal New Zealand Air Force, and the three Australian Services.
The sportswomen also participated in a programme of Force Development which included a day in the Blue Mountains, and visits to the Tidbindilla Nature Reserve, National Memorial Arboretum, National War Memorial and to the ANZAC Parade.
Sqn Ldr Alison Russell-Brookes, tour manager of the RAF ladies cricket team, said: "This was the first time a women's competition has been held as part of the International Defence Cricket Challenge, and the RAF Ladies Cricket Team were privileged to be able to participate on our first tour in 13 years."
She explained: "The nature of the team as a developmental squad did not allow the RAF Ladies to capitalise on some strong performances by the experienced players, but the intention at the outset was to provide an intense period of growth within the developing side and there was significant improvement both in terms of play and team cohesion.
"Although disappointed not to have won any games, the squad was buoyed by the significant overall improvement and development of a number of newer players, laying the foundation for a five-year development plan, while the selection of two players for the World XI Team gave cause for much celebration.
The tournament was won by the British Army Women who beat the Royal Australian Navy by 8 wickets in the final.