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Women's cricket on the front foot

The England women's cricket team has made its mark on the world stage over the past five years, performing consistently well in tournaments. It's no surprise, therefore, that the England Cricket Board's first open day especially for girls proved popular with budding sportswomen. The event at Portslade Cricket Club, East Sussex, launched an initiative to attract youngsters into women's cricket - the sport's fastest growing area.

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The campaign is being spearheaded by 25-year-old England and Sussex player Sarah Taylor. The wicket-keeper supervised an introductory training session for dozens of girls keen to try their hand. 'When I grew up I had to play along-side boys,' said Taylor. 'It was quite daunting at times, and a lot of the girls didn't want to join in because it was primarily a boys' game. The talent here has been fantastic. Some of the girls were throwing the ball much harder than I expected!' 

Scott Theobald, whose daughter Florence was taking part, said: 'This event is excellent. It's just the right level for them to all get a taste ofthrow-ing, fielding, catching and batting.'
Florence, 10, said: 'It was exciting, and the coaches made things fun.'

The event was the first of hundreds of official ECB Club Open Days running nationwide this summer. Supported by Waitrose, the events are designed to encourage clubs get more young girls and boys involved. The first 1,000 clubs to host an official ECB Club Open Day will receive £100 of food and drink from Waitrose to help with their events.