The golden age of men’s cricket came to an end in the summer of 1914, but it unexpectedly marked the beginning of women’s adoption of the national game with the story now being told for the first time in an in-depth book.
‘Women at the Wicket’ is written by Royal Holloway, University of London, PHD student Adam McKie, and describes the formative years of the game It explains how cricket became a new setting for women’s emancipation after achieving electoral equality in 1928 and includes a foreword from broadcaster Alison Mitchell.
Women at the Wicket out now
Despite hostile opposition and humble beginnings, by 1939 the sport had been transformed. International tours, first-class county venues, crowds in their thousands: women’s cricket has become a permanent feature. Fast forward to 2017 where the English Women’s Cricket Team won the World Cup Final, and it’s clear they’ve made their mark.
Adam Mckie said: “While there are a bountiful number of books on the history of cricket, very few ever mention the development of the women’s game.
“The time was right for a detailed history of the game, documenting both the hostility these players faced and their triumphs in popularising the sport.
“Building on the enormous success of at the Women’s World Cup in England last year, 2018 marks the first year a woman has featured on the cover of the Wisden Almanack in its 154-year history and women’s cricket is now one of the fastest growing sports in the UK.
“I hope ‘Women at the Wicket’ goes some way to filling this historical silence and provides a useable past for future generations.”
Adam’s book is published by the Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians (ACS) and is the product of his Master’s by Research undertaken at Royal Holloway in 2015/6, fully-funded by the ACS.
Andrew Hignell, Secretary of the ACS said “We’re delighted to publish this ground-breaking volume which is part of our series called Cricket Witness, which explores many of the social and cultural aspects of the game’s development.
“Adam’s book is a most worthy addition to this already highly acclaimed series, and we hope it sparks further interest and research into the fascinating history of women’s cricket.”
Adam’s ongoing research explores the socio-economic history of interwar Britain.
To buy the book, please visit the ACS website.