Cricketers share excitement and hopes to inspire next generation ahead of Ashes

Cricketers share excitement and hopes to inspire next generation ahead of Ashes
Jonny Bairstow and Emma Lamb (Zac Goodwin/Mike Egerton/PA)

Female and male cricketers have spoken of their excitement ahead of the monumental joint Ashes series and hope that it “brings in that next generation” of players.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has launched a joint campaign for the first time across men and women’s cricket to promote the ballot and ticket sales for the 2023 season, and will see the LV= Insurance Men’s Ashes and Metro Bank Women’s Ashes competitions run side-by-side this summer.

Speaking to the PA news agency before the Men’s five-Test Ashes series gets under way at Edgbaston on June 16, Jonny Bairstow said that he feels “very excited” to get going.

England v Ireland \u2013 The LV= Insurance Test Series \u2013 First Test \u2013 Day Three \u2013 Lord\u2019sJonny Bairstow spoke about his excitement ahead of the Men’s Ashes (John Walton/PA)PA Wire/PA Images - John Walton

“That’s what you want to be a part of, you want to be part of the big series and it’s something that inspired me as a young kid”, he said.

“Hopefully, we can inspire the next lot too.”

After recently recovering from a broken leg, Bairstow – who plays for Yorkshire – said it took “a solid nine months of rehab and a few dark days, but we’re at the end of it”.

“And this is why you go through all that stuff – to enjoy and be part of these special series.”

Before the joint Ashes takes place, Bairstow said that it has been “great” to see the female game develop over the years.

England Nets Session \u2013 Lord\u2019s \u2013 Monday August 15thJonny Bairstow said he has enjoyed seeing the women’s team develop over the years (John Walton/PA)PA Archive/PA Images - John Walton

“The female game has come a long way in the last five years and it’s been great to watch and having spent quite a bit of time with the girls as well, under the umbrella team England, it’s pretty awesome to see how they’re going,” he said.

“It will obviously be a tough challenge as well for them, but I’m sure they’ll put their best foot forward and give it a good crack.”

For Emma Lamb, who will be part of the England Women’s Ashes Test Squad which start playing against Australia at Trent Bridge, Nottingham from June 22 to June 26, the Ashes will be “a really good moment” and one she is excited about.

England Women v South Africa Women \u2013 First ODI \u2013 The County GroundEmma Lamb said it is ‘surreal’ seeing record-breaking ticket sales for the Women’s Ashes (Mike Egerton/PA)PA Archive/PA Images - Mike Egerton

“[There has been a] record-breaking number of tickets sold for the Women’s Ashes”, she told PA.

“It’s a bit surreal, but it’s also really important that we get lots of people watching, so that we can hopefully entertain everyone.”

More than 11,000 tickets have been sold to cricketing fans keen to descend on Trent Bridge to see the team play.

ScreenJonny Bairstow and Emma Lamb hope the joint Ashes will inspire the next generation of players (ECB/PA)

Lamb – who plays domestically for North West Thunder – said that she hopes the Ashes continues the sport’s drive towards inspiring aspiring cricketers to take up a bat.

“The most important thing is to bring in that next generation – both girls and boys – and making sure we’re getting both genders interested”, she said.

Reflecting on taking an interest in cricket as a child, she fondly recalled “playing [cricket] with my brother in the back garden”.

“What’s really exciting now is that a lot of young girls are not just getting into cricket through their family – it’s a lot more accessible through clubs”, she added.

England Women v South Africa Women \u2013 First ODI \u2013 The County GroundEmma Lamb fondly recalled playing cricket with her brother growing up (Mike Egerton/PA)PA Archive/PA Images - Mike Egerton

She spoke about how potentially being a role model for burgeoning cricketers is “one of the biggest reasons why I play”.

“It’s really nice when I’m playing at the grounds and fans turn up and little boys and girls who’ve got my name on their backs”, she added.

As the series edges ever closer, she said the team have been training and doing everything they can to succeed.

“We’ve had some good warm-up games, we’ve got another one this week,” she said.

“We just have to do everything we can control and hopefully that’ll show.”

The Conversation (0)