MORE and more women and girls are playing cricket regularly and without a doubt it is the fastest growing aspect of the sport, so an interesting time to be involved with it, writes Richard Walsh.

With this in mind I took the opportunity to sit down and talk to Dave Roberts, who himself played cricket for Northamptonshire and is the head coach of the Somerset Women’s team.

Dave started by talking through the Somerset team’s season.

“Rain made for a frustrating start to the season with the ECB putting together a competition over three weekends that were all washed out, which was very disappointing for the girls who don’t get enough cricket anyway.

“Despite this there were a lot of positives with us playing a Finals Day here at the Coopers Associates County Ground under lights which was a first experience for many of the team.

“To win that game convincingly was great especially with a lot of young players who have been involved with the Somerset Pathway in the team, which means we are doing something right.

“There is an opportunity now for girls to make a career and a living out of playing cricket which there wasn’t beforehand. To see them go on and succeed like Lauren Filer who played for England this summer in the Ashes, is a big thing for girls to look up at and say that’s somewhere that I want to be.”

Dave talked about his involvement with Somerset cricket.

“I am head coach with the Somerset Women’s team and also do women’s coaching through the winter with the EPP and some of the county age groups. At the moment we don’t have any winter training for the women, it’s just the age group teams in addition to which the girls are involved in so many different things all over the world that it’s difficult to get them all together regularly.”

In addition to being involved with Somerset Women’s cricket and the Pathway, Dave is also at Taunton School as a part time performance cricket coach.

“It was a fantastic move from Somerset’s point of view to have appointed Kieran Peters as Pathway Coach and Women’s and Girls Lead and if we can drive on with that, and drive women’s and girls cricket forward and be one of the first to do that would be massive for the county.”

Dave went on: “With the amount of cricket that there is on offer now the girls game can only grow even more. If we can do that and if we can grow the 50 over competition that has been put on for women by Western Storm this summer from the three or four weekends to nine or ten it would be fantastic.

“We now also have WEPL Women’s cricket and the girls are now having more opportunity and we are now seeing girls who might not have come though until they were older performing well at a younger age and we are selecting them.”

Finally how does Dave see the women’s game developing in the next few years?

“What I’d love to see is the girls playing multi day cricket which is where I think it will kick onto next. The Hundred has been a massive success but Id like to see a regional team playing three or four day cricket and hopefully that will come.”