For many years, the most famous female involvement in Peruvian cricket had been when Louise Hildebrand, sister of then-captain Harry Hildebrand, caught Cricket Peru stalwart, Simon Walter, when he was on 49, in February, 2005!
However, 2008 saw the first girls cricket game held between British schools, Markham College and San Silvestre (Girls School). This has been followed by irregular, inter-school girls games between Markham and Hiram Bingham School, who have both run a girls cricket development programme.
Then, in 2010, Cricket Peru was delighted to include four young women in the Twenty20 Second Division Championship. We also welcomed Juliet Solomon, from Trinidad but now based in Lima, as Cricket Peru’s official scorer, which we were very pleased about. To follow her musings on life in Lima, have a look at her excellent blog.
Inspired by these developments, Juliet was voted onto the Cricket Peru Executive Committee as Women’s Cricket Officer at the 2010 AGM in September, entrusted with developing female involvement in cricket throughout Peru.
Nobody was expecting an explosion of interest. So, it was a remarkable sight to arrive at Lima Cricket Club less than two months after Juliet’s appointment, on 7th November, 2010, and see more women than men practicing cricket!
They were warming up for the inaugural women’s 8-a-side match between two recently-formed sides: the Commonwealth Expert Side, captained by said Women’s Cricket Officer, Juliet Solomon and Markham Ladies, captained by Frances Carr, a teacher at Markham College.
Our goal was to have a team to compete in the annual Cricket South America Women’s Championships, against Argentina, Brazil (pictured on tour in Trinidad, above) and Chile. The first one had been held in Santiago, in September, 2010 (see report) but Peru was not present.
So, Cricket Peru was extremely proud to be able to send a national women’s team to the Championship in Brasilia in August 2011. Whilst ‘The Vicuñas’, as they came to be known, did not win any of their three games, their performance on and off the field was commendable, and they returned to Peru with heads held high and a heightened level of enthusiasm for the game. For more details of this Championship, click here.
This was followed immediately by the visit of Australian cricketer, Sarah Aley, who gave a rigorous coaching session for the Vicuñas at LCFC, in early September, 2011.
In another proud development, Cricket Peru hosted the 2014 South American Women’s Championship in Lima simultaneously with the Men’s Championship, using the artificial pitch at Cambridge College … with the final between Brazil & Argentina on the turf pitch of Lima Cricket & Football Club. The Argentinean ladies won a close, high-standard game, with all agreeing that the mixed format had been a great success.
The goal now is to build on this momentum, with more girls’ and women’s cricket in schools and universities.
For a candid report on the current state of women’s cricket in Peru from Women’s Cricket Officer, Juliet Solomon, click here.