One of the best things about university, and St Andrews in particular, is sport. Whether you’ve played and loved it since childhood or have never even heard of it, you can probably do it in St Andrews. Nothing is more true of this dynamic than the game of cricket.
Played and adored by millions in England, India and Australia to name but a few, but scarcely heard of elsewhere, it is a sport that many will never have come across. St Andrews is proud to have a thriving cricket section which includes three men’s and one women’s team.
Girls’ and women’s cricket has grown popular in recent years and is making huge strides, with the England women gaining professional status in February of this year. Women’s cricket is on the up and is taking the St Andrews team with it.
After a brilliant outdoor season last semester, the Women’s Cricket Club is looking to continue its growth and improvement under an inspired new committee. The team compete in BUCS tournaments against such universities as Edinburgh, Newcastle and Durham, with these exciting and strongly competitive events located at the stunning Chester-le-Street indoor cricket centre in Durham.
For the progression of all players the team is also represented at tournaments hosted throughout Scotland, where there is competition from Scottish teams in the shape of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Galloway, among others.
All of this will be alongside weekly practices with highly experienced ex-Scotland international and qualified coaches from the men’s teams. Practices are competitive and challenging, but also hugely fun and incredibly rewarding. Each and every player has the opportunity for one-to-one coaching and to be part of a team, be it at a friendly or competitive level.
Sessions are dynamic, so as to improve all aspects of every player’s game, and the club is hugely excited about the prospect of running an indoor tournament with weekly matches during the first semester. This is sure to prepare all players for the outdoor season and will be a fun and friendly atmosphere in which every member can gain valuable match experience.
The women’s team are proud to offer a lively social scene, with weekly social events, from pot-luck dinners to late nights out, and a number of special events throughout the year. The annual Christmas and end-of-year dinners are always nights to look forward to at the end of long semesters.
As in previous years, this year the club is looking to continue the tradition of hosting an alumni weekend, when all previous members of the club are invited for two days of cricketing fun. This weekend includes a match where current members are pitted against the alumni, followed by a spot of beach cricket, dinner and a night out with friends old and new.
This year will see yet more action for the women’s club, who are looking to continue to foster links with the local area through an exciting outreach programme. Last year saw a number of representatives from the men’s and women’s teams introduce cricket to children in schools within St Andrews as part of a project run by Fife Council. The project was a success, with hundreds of children in the local area able to get a taste of the game. Plans are in place to continue the project into the future, with the University this year looking to host a cricket festival for the local schools.
There is so much in store for the women’s team over the course of the year, with ideas aplenty at the foundling stage of development. Plans for future fundraising events are taking shape and there is an exciting sponsorship deal with a certain local institution on the brink of completion.
Perhaps most exciting of all is the possibility of a tour to any number of cricket-loving destinations. After a wildly successful trip to Amsterdam a few years ago, the club is hoping to establish this as a yearly tradition.
If you are interested in joining women’s cricket, or would just like to find out more, they have two practices a week. The first takes place on a Monday evening, and the second is during the normal sporting hours of 2-4 pm on a Wednesday afternoon. No matter your ability, all will be made most welcome.