Fantastic weekend of Italian Women's cricket
Tue, Oct 12, 2010 3:55 PM
ICC Regional Performance Officer Philip Hudson, travelled to Italy at the weekend to attend the Italian Women's Senior and U13 Championships at Centro Sportivo Ca'Nova di Medicina.
Il Campionato Italiano Feminile Seniores 2010 consisted of participating teams Pianoro (Bologna), Capannelle (Rome), Casteller Paese (Treviso) and Kingsgrove (Milan). The five matches were played over Saturday and Sunday in a 15 over format. With the favourite to win between Capanelle and Kingsgrove, the crunch match came between these two teams.
Kingsgrove batted first scoring 67-6 in their 15 overs with Karanayake performing with the bat scoring 13 runs and with the star bowler being Obris who took one wicket for four runs. Capanelle took 13 overs to chase the runs with Obris scoring 27 runs- all players retiring once they have reached 25. The star player was Capannelle's Obris who retired in all of her three matches.
The women's game in Italy over the past two years has grown a significant amount, the first aim was to adhere to all compliance regulations and this has all been completed. The Federazione has identified schools as the lynchpin for female cricket and hope to increase the number of schools introducing women's cricket steadily over the next 6 months. Unfortunately the number of U/13 teams playing in the national championship reduced this year, but the Federazione hope that the numbers will increase again next year. The driving force behind the women's game is Rosy Giunta, a former national Italian softball player. The majority of all the players representing Casteller have come through the cricket programme that Giunta runs at her school in Paese.
Giunta is extremely enthusiastic regarding her activities in women's cricket and explains this via Kelum Perera who translates: "I manage all of the school projects in the North East of the country under the supervision of the National Development Officer, Kelum Perera.
"The main challenges that Cricket Italia are trying to overcome is the male/female discrimination, the women's structure needs developing so that it is parallel to the males."
Il Campionato Italiano U13 Feminile 2010 was played between Pianoro and Casteller; Casteller were the eventual champions defeating Pianoro in all three matches. Girls' cricket was started at Capanelle by Alphonso Jayarajah. "I originally started women's cricket at the club 25 years ago but there was no other teams to play. We restarted women's cricket in 2009 and participated in the first Italian national championships last year. They are very passionate and train extremely hard; in fact at times harder than the men.
"My daughter coaches the team and in 2009 obtained her ECB Level 1 coaching award. She is the driving force behind the team now. The girls are so passionate about playing the game that one of our players travelled over from the UK where she is studying, just this morning. She arrived at the ground in a taxi straight from the airport and then went straight into the warm-up"