A RECORD number of female teams hit the pitches for the Goldfield Ashes in Charters Towers this weekend.
A total of 16 teams participated in the event, double last year’s count of eight, making it the most females to have ever participated in the weekend cricket carnival.
Mareeba team the “Bad Pitches” joined in the for the first time this year and promised they would be back.
Team captain Trisha Spry said the girls had started a ladies social competition in Mareeba which had been hugely successful, so they decided to test their mettle further afield.
“We had such a huge response from it so we thought why not give Ashes a go,” Ms Spry said.
“We’ve been doing really well in our local area we wanted to see how competitive we were playing here.
“It’s been going really well, everyone has performed when needed, bowling batting really good.”
Ms Spry said she believed Cricket Australia’s push for women’s competition had encouraged more females to take up the sport.
“A lot of it has been Cricket Australia and their push for women’s competition and their push for the WBBL.
“It’s pushing it through, we noticed lots of really young girls which was great, a lot of the kids coming through 17-19 year-olds, heaps of people there younger who probably haven’t been in the Ashes before.
“We always heard the Ashes was very social and a lot of people have been coming for years and years, but obviously they’re bringing in a lot of new blood which is really good.”
Charters Towers Cricket Association president Craig McAlister also put the number of females down to the Women’s Big Bash League.
“We had eight last year and 16 this year, so we’re doubled it,” Mr McAlister said.
"I think just the Big Bash and the women now playing Big Bash starting to spread back to grassroots cricket.”
Charters Towers Mayor Liz Schmidt joined in the action for the first time this year, with the “Hormoans.”
Hormoans team manager Fay Staub said they were the longest standing female team and were participating in their 19th event this year.
She said ladies from years past had already expressed an interest in joining the team for the 20 year milestone next year.