Garth hoping Big Bash success inspires others
Nick Royle (Times Ireland)
Kim Garth, captain of the Ireland women’s cricket team, hopes her success at the Women’s Big Bash League in Australia will persuade Twenty20 franchises to take on Irish players.
The 21-year-old was part of the Sydney Sixers team which claimed a second successive WBBL title on Sunday with a nine-wicket victory over Perth Scorchers at the Adelaide Oval.
And the Pembroke all-rounder hopes that Irish players will feature in England’s six-team Women’s Super League in July and August, which begins eight days after the conclusion of the Women’s World Twenty20 Qualifier in the Netherlands.
“I hope I have put myself in a good position for the Women’s Super League with my WBBL performances,” she said. “But I 100 per cent believe that there a number of girls in the Irish team who are good enough to play and succeed in these competitions.
“Isobel Joyce [the former Ireland captain] did really well in the WBBL with Hobart Hurricanes, and was the first player to score a 50 for them this season [against Perth Scorchers].
“She has proved she is well able to play at this level, and I know there are many more back home who are good enough.
“Hopefully Isobel and I being out here has given Irish women’s cricket some good exposure, and franchises will start to look at our players.”
Garth’s father, Jonathan, played 26 times for Ireland between 1986 and 1989 while her mother, Anne-Marie McDonald, represented Ireland at the 1988 Women’s World Cup in Australia. Both parents were in Adelaide to see their daughter claim her second WBBL winners’ medal.
“My younger brother Jonathan played in the Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand in January, so they went over to see him, and then came across to Adelaide to watch me in the semi-final and the final,” Garth said.
“That was fantastic. It is great having parents who understand the game, and it is good to have them around to talk to.”
Garth, says that the WBBL sets standards that other women’s tournaments should try to emulate.
Cricket Australia has promoted the competition extensively, and have been rewarded with a 42 per cent increase in television ratings compared with last year, with a peak audience of 629,000 viewers for the game between the Sixers and Melbourne Stars on December 9.
“Women’s sport is well on its way to being on a par with men’s sport in Australia, and to be part of the WBBL at such an exciting time is incredible,” Garth said.
“The organisers put so much into the marketing, and it really is a different ball game out here. Other countries can learn such a lot from how they run things in Australia.”