VISITORS to Emirates Old Trafford yesterday (Sunday, May 20) showed their support for Lancashire Cricket’s #BatForWomensCricket campaign, as they cheered on Lancashire Thunder.

Captained by Ellie Threlkeld, Lancashire Thunder – in front of a crowd of over 1,000 supporters – started their Charlotte Edwards Cup campaign with a comprehensive eight wicket win over rivals Northern Diamonds at a sun-soaked Emirates Old Trafford.

Northern Diamonds were restricted to 109/8, before the hosts comfortably reached the target in the 15th over, thanks mainly to Emma Lamb who hit a dominant unbeaten 44 with four boundaries and 30 not out from Seren Smale.

There was plenty entertainment off the field too, with many taking part in the fun batting challenge to meet the team.

The lucky winners were Maia, aged six, from Chester, Theo and Jacob, both aged 12, from Didsbury, and Lachlan, aged just two, from Newton-le-Willows. As well as receiving a cricket bat signed by the Lancashire Thunder team, the winners also met the players after the game.

St Helens Star: Picture caption: Winners of the batting challenge: Maia, Theo, Jacob and Lachlan, meet the Lancashire Thunder team after the gamePicture caption: Winners of the batting challenge: Maia, Theo, Jacob and Lachlan, meet the Lancashire Thunder team after the game (Image: Spice PR)

Lancashire Cricket is keen to make the women’s game more visible to support greater funding and opportunities being made available within women’s cricket. The club has invested heavily in the Lancashire Thunder team who already inspire many young girls to get involved in the game.

Interviewing Threlkeld, Melody Bowman, aged 11, together with her nine-year old sister Grace, from Liverpool, asked Ellie what was behind #BatForWomensCricket. Threlkeld responded: “It’s a great initiative to try and get more girls and women involved in cricket. The game’s growing, which is brilliant, and we want to do everything we can to keep that momentum going. #BatForWomensCricket is another opportunity to do that. We’ve made some significant progress in women’s cricket but there’s always more to be done.”

Lancashire Thunder and England opener, Emma Lamb added: "It's been lovely today to play in front of a fantastic crowd and to sign all the autographs at the end – there were lots of little girls looking up at me which was really nice. It's great that we can get in a decent crowd even when it isn't a double header with the men’s game. I'm glad we won for all of them today."


All visitors to the game yesterday were also entered into a prize draw which was announced at half-time, with the lucky winners taking home prizes including a hospitality package to the upcoming Green Day concert and tickets to watch an England game.