When asked to travel to Kilkenny, Bagnelstown to be precise,  for a women's cricket open day, I had my reservations, Kilkenny the "mecca of hurling"... who would we find there?

It's interesting, recently I read an article from an American fielding coach who is working with the Australian World Cup cricket squad, and he said there's huge scope for the modern game of cricket to attract ex baseball players or players that didn't make the big leagues. The t20 format of the game seems to be attracting a lot more attention globally and the marketing potential is humungous.

I say this because when asked at the open day "how do we attract more players?", this sprung to mind.
Word of mouth, short sharp fun sessions, lots of colour and social activities around their sessions? And, maybe ex Camogie and Hockey players?
It was explained to me that an elite set of females play Camogie in Kilkenny, so there should be a huge amount of ex players who could potentially play.

Last year the IRFU set up a campaign to invite and entice athletes from other sports to make the transition over to 7's Rugby. They sold it in such a way that if you were good enough you could potentially travel the world, play in a World Cup and ultimately play at an Olympic Games! The words "Olympic Games" said around any athlete will get their ears to stand up. And although I am being a "little" adventurous in comparing getting some ex Camogie players to play cricket, but why not?!

Inviting people to talent days, getting the Irish Women's team there, rallying troops around will only have a positive effect on growing the game. While we can't guarantee we will find a International player or get to a World Cup, we should definitely be using better tactics like the IRFU, to attract this sort of player.

Bagnelstown men captained by Michael Dick, an ex YMCA player, had contacted with me some months back, and explained they were trying to build a women's team. Bagnelstown presently have 3 male teams, their 1st team are in Division 8, 2nd in Division 13 and now entering a 3rd in Division 16. On talking to Michael, Jason King and his wife Mary they stressed (surprisingly), how much of an appetite there was for the cricket around Kilkenny.

7 women turned up this morning with a few more off playing hockey and other apologies filtering through. We had some basic throwing and catching, and then broke into some quick cricket. This is the first of 2 sessions down that direction to take place. The next session will take place in Carlow on the 14th of February (Yes, Valentines Day!). The enthusiasm the girls showed at their first shot at cricket was contagious. Girls who had never held a bat, seen stumps and honesty didn't have a clue of the rules, jumped in head first and gave it a go!

Bagnelstown women might not enter a team in the Leinster leagues this summer, but they're keen to host some friendlies and travel to Dublin a couple of times, to gain experience and exposure.

We spoke about how playing cricket might not be for everyone after they give it a go, but there's so many jobs that go with cricket that might match their skills like - administration, social, fixture secretary, manger etc etc. I encouraged all to get involved and in whatever captaincy to stay involved in cricket. 

All and all, this was a lovely morning spent in the amazing facilities of the Watershed leisure centre. Some huge cricket enthusiasts chatting and playing a sport we love, Oh and did I mention another women's cricket team has been born!