World Cup qualifiers in Pakistan, 2007 May 29, 2007

Bermuda girls beat the boys

Cricinfo staff

Bermuda women have played, and won, their first match in an under-16 boys' league as their preparations for the World Cup qualifiers got off to an excellent start. Bermuda women are allowed to enter players who are aged 18 or under, and the side won a close match on Saturday by 2 runs.

There is no restriction on age in the evening league, which is a 20-overs format. By another arrangement, the women field first in every match - there are 14 in total - to ensure full participation.

The moves follow a recommendation by Ann Browne-John, the former West Indies women coach, who suggested that the women needed to compete regularly. They also have matches lined up against a national Under-15 boys' side. Browne-John and two West Indies bowlers - Kirbyina Alexander and Anisa Mohammed, one a fast bowler, one a spinner - are also lined up to give the women decent practice.

Plans are also under way for a training camp in Bermuda, ahead of an ICC Americas competition in August. All the efforts are aiming towards the World Cup qualifiers in November, in Pakistan, but there is much work to do, and competition there will be stiff, with the more established sides South Africa and Pakistan favourites to grab those spots.

While the fledgling international side develops, so does the grassroots cricket. The board has provided a six-lane indoor school at the leading girls school in Hamilton, which has an all-girls side in the Under-10 league. Irving Romaine, the national captain, also works as a cricket development officer, and he spends his time working with schools and clubs and assisting with junior ranks.