Female cricket is enjoying increasing appeal in our region – and with a hat-trick of state honours between them, this teen trio is extending the boundaries for a new generation.
By Raelee Tuckerman
Jasmine Nevins had never played a formal game of cricket when she turned up to try out for a Victorian girls’ representative team at the urging of her primary school PE teacher.
Yet the talented Kangaroo Flat bowler proved such a natural she was selected in the state squad that won silver at the School Sport Australia 12-and-under championships in 2016. She was the third local female in as many years to play in the prestigious carnival, after White Hills medium-pacer Letesha Bawden and Bendigo all-rounder Kate Douglass.
“I had no previous experience,” the now-13-year-old says of her rapid rise, which has also seen her and Letesha named in the Victoria Country Female Academy under-15 squad after training throughout winter with Cricket Victoria’s elite program.
“I used to bowl with my dad and brother Aaron in the backyard for fun. But as I went through the trials, I decided to play in the Bendigo junior league for more experience so I joined the Kangaroo Flat under-14 boys. I still play for them on Saturdays.”
It’s a similar story for the other girls – both began their cricket careers in boys’ teams because, until recently, taking on the lads at the “gentleman’s game” was their only option.
Letesha, 14, recalls that playing for Victoria in Darwin in 2015 was the first time she’d ever been part of an all-girl cricketing group – and she loved it.
“I still have a lot of friendships made through that team,” she says. “Girls have more fun – we still try our hardest, but we don’t always take the result as seriously as boys.” …