RAINFORD cricketer Ellie Threlkeld is spearheading a campaign to get more people to watch women's cricket.

Only four in ten people in the North West have been to a cricket match in person, according to a new study, and of those just 11% watched women’s cricket.

The survey was carried out on behalf of Lancashire Cricket as part of its wider campaign to drive change within the sport – and particularly the women’s game – through its Red Rose Together campaign. This follows the club’s recent announcement of a significant investment in its women’s team through its partner Hilton.

Daniel Gidney, Lancashire Cricket chief executive, said: “We want to encourage as many people as possible to come down to Emirates Old Trafford and support our professional women’s side. We’re looking to make the standalone T20 match on Sunday, May 19 a spectacle for the women’s game and are keen to make it accessible and affordable for all.

“We’re on a long-term journey to ensure our women’s team has the same opportunities and access to facilities as our men’s squad. Over the last few years, we’ve invested heavily in our professional women’s programme – alongside additional funding from commercial partners – but we all know there’s still a long way to go.”

Despite the North West being home to one of the country’s leading cricket grounds, Emirates Old Trafford, six in ten adults in the region haven’t ever been to a cricket match. The research shows that one of the main barriers to attending – whether the men’s or the women’s game – is because people don’t know what happens at the game, such as how long it takes, if there’s wider entertainment and how much it costs.

To attract a wider audience, Lancashire Cricket is proud to launch #BatForWomensCricket and is encouraging the North West to show its support for Lancashire Thunder as they take on rivals Northern Diamonds, with entertainment both on and off the field. 

Threlkeld, who is captain of Lancashire Thunder, said: “We need to make women’s cricket as visible as possible and it’s great to see Lancashire’s continued commitment to developing the women’s game.

"We’re encouraging cricket fans and first-time visitors alike to come down to our T20 match on Sunday, May 19 as it will be a great day out. That’s what #BatForWomensCricket is about.”

Tickets are just £5 per adult and £1 for children (plus booking fee) and when you buy an adult ticket you’ll be entered into a draw for prizes including concert tickets to Green Day (21 June), tickets to The Hundred (25 July), plus tickets to watch an England women’s international fixture in 2025. The winners will be announced on the day.

The recent research outlined the importance of additional entertainment at the matches and it’s safe to say that Emirates Old Trafford has it covered. With face painters, stilt walkers, a DJ, food and drink stalls and more, it promises to be a great day out, plus kids can enjoy games and activities, along with a visit from Lanky the Giraffe, the club’s resident mascot.

And if that wasn’t enough, visitors will have the opportunity to bat for women’s cricket, quite literally, by taking part in a fun batting challenge. Open to both adults and kids, you’ll have the chance to win a cricket bat signed by the Lancashire Thunder team and meet the players after the game.

To find out more about cricket and see a women’s game in action, visit Emirates Old Trafford on Sunday, May 19 at 1pm to see Lancashire Thunder take on Northern Diamonds.

Buy tickets online at cricket.lancashirecricket.co.uk