Girls' and Women's Game Taking Off at Shepherd's Bush Cricket Club

Huge growth in new members in the junior ranks

Pupils from St John's Walham Green school play cricket at the club. Picture: Shepherd's Bush Cricket Club
Pupils from St John's Walham Green school play cricket at the club. Picture: Shepherd's Bush Cricket Club

Shepherd's Bush Cricket Club (SBCC) is reporting a huge surge of interest in participation by girls and women as it prepares to celebrate its 140th anniversary.

Tim Howard, who runs junior cricket at the club, says he astonished by the boom in the girls' and women's' game, and is convinced that it's set to be the next big thing.

“We've been paying a particular focus to the girls,” he said. “This season we've taken on 50 girls who have been registered with the club. It's been a big aspect of life at the club in the last 12 to 16 months.”

It means that SBCC has been running competitive matches for girls at U11 and U15 levels and putting more time and energy into coaching and improving the women's game.

SBCC began encouraging girls' cricket two years ago, but the big boom has followed the huge rise in televised women's cricket. “The TV exposure is undoubtedly making the girls' game bigger and bigger,” said Tim.

“But the other factor around here is west London schools taking rounders out and replacing that with cricket. It's led to demand for girls' cricket.”

Two of Middlesex Women's first-team wicketkeepers, Iqraa Hussain, 22, and Amelie Munday, 19, recently visited the Shepherd's Bush club during a training meeting for the girls, to pass on tips, hold a question-and-answer session and share their enthusiasm for this fast-growing sector of sport.

Middlesex Women's first-team wicketkeepers Iqraa Hussain (left) and Amelie Munday (right)Middlesex Women's first-team wicketkeepers Iqraa Hussain (left) and Amelie Munday (right)

The demand is being fuelled at grassroots level in local primary schools with rapid progression from a softball form of cricket to hardball.

“It's made a natural pathway for girls to go from softball to hardball... much like for the boys,” added Tim.

“This is the first year back, after Covid, for the Hammersmith & Fulham primary schools' cricket competition, and the difference from, say, five years is so great.”

SBCC runs the Hammersmith & Fulham primary cricket event, and its club coaches go into a number of local primaries to encourage participation.

The club also has a serious women's team, which is growing its own support base, so there's a development path in the girls' game, just as there has always been from boys' cricket into the men's senior teams.

Although the junior season has now finished (it ends when schools break up for the summer), plans are already being made for enlisting new recruits ahead of next year's start in early April.

In boys' cricket SBCC runs matches at U9, U10, U11, U12, U13 and U15 levels. In the men's game there are four teams playing each week.

SBCC is pretty much at full capacity currently with boys' cricket, but it believes it's the girls' and women's game that has the real potential to soar in coming years.

The club was set up in 1882, has more than 250 juniors playing regularly, and says it can offer a friendly, family atmosphere and thriving social side at the ground at 38 Bromyard Ave, W3 7BP.

The club is marking its 140th anniversary with a gala end-of-season dinner on Saturday 15 October, and is keen to welcome back notable players of the past. Keep an eye on the club's Twitter account for details.

Meanwhile, if you're a young cricketer, keen to improve your skills, the SBCC runs summer cricket camps for boys and girls aged five to 13, throughout August. The cost is £30 per day (10.30am-3pm). Book by emailing Tim Howard on

Like Reading Articles Like This? Help Us Produce More

This site remains committed to providing local community news and public interest journalism.

Articles such as the one above are integral to what we do. We aim to feature as much as possible on local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents, community-based initiatives and even helping people find missing pets.

We've always done that and won't be changing, in fact we'd like to do more.

However, the readership that these stories generates is often below that needed to cover the cost of producing them. Our financial resources are limited and the local media environment is intensely competitive so there is a constraint on what we can do.

We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.

A suggested monthly payment is £8 but we would be grateful for any amount for instance if you think this site offers the equivalent value of a subscription to a daily printed newspaper you may wish to consider £20 per month. If neither of these amounts is suitable for you then contact and we can set up an alternative. All payments are made through a secure web site.

One-off donations are also appreciated. Choose The Amount You Wish To Contribute.

If you do support us in this way we'd be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.

For businesses we offer the chance to be a corporate sponsor of community content on the site. For £30 plus VAT per month you will be the designated sponsor of at least one article a month with your logo appearing if supplied. If there is a specific community group or initiative you'd like to support we can make sure your sponsorship is featured on related content for a one off payment of £50 plus VAT. All payments are made through a secure web site.

August 1, 2022