Edgbaston is supporting the national African Caribbean Engagement (ACE) programme on an initiative to find future stars of women’s cricket.

The project aims to identify women and girls from the region’s African Caribbean community – aged between 15- and 21-years-old – with potential to make it as fast bowlers in the game.

Open Days are set for Edgbaston’s Cricket Centre on 15, 22 and 29 April (6-8pm) where prospects will be given some coaching and an opportunity to stake a claim for one of 12 places on a three-year coaching programme.

Entry onto the scheme is free, all kit will be provided, and successful applicants will receive professional cricket and strength and conditioning coaching.

ACE founder Ebony Rainford-Brent MBE – a former England international cricketer – said: “Cricket is a sport with immense potential for growth and success.

“It has been great to see the women’s game go from strength to strength over the last decade. But one challenge we are aware of is the lack of representation of females from diverse and underrepresented groups in the talent pathway, particularly players of African and Caribbean heritage.

“We wanted to take the opportunity not just to find females from underrepresented groups, but also try something that hasn’t been done before in cricket. The ultimate goal is to produce cricketers who can bowl fast (75mph+) with the potential to play at the highest level.

“The initiative is about more than just cricket; it’s about empowerment, representation, and breaking barriers. We believe that by providing access and support, we can unlock the full potential and pave the way for future generations.”

The Sport England-backed project will see the 12 prospects benefit from weekly outdoor coaching in the summer at either Edgbaston’s Portland Road ground or Handsworth Cricket Club.

One of the coaches is Chelsea Alagoa, a former Warwickshire pathway cricketer who left the sport aged 15 to compete in athletics before transitioning to bobsleigh following the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Rainford-Brent hopes the Open Days will attract interest from athletic women and girls who may want to ‘talent transition’ from another sport into cricket.

She added: “We’re looking for women and girls with good athletic ability that we can help mould into fast bowlers. They don’t need cricket experience at this stage; that’s where our coaching comes in. Just an open mind to try something new and a desire to learn.

“We hope to introduce athletic women and girls to the game of cricket and to progress to club, county, regional or even international level. We want them to aim high!”

ACE will also collaborate with local secondary schools, sixth forms, colleges and universities in Birmingham to conduct talent identification sessions, welcoming interested schools to sign up by emailing academy@aceprogramme.com.

To register, click here or visit aceprogramme.com/blaze-her-trail for more info.

Over 10,000 sold for Women’s IT20 vs Pakistan

Pakistan Women will be in Birmingham on Saturday 11 May 2024 and over 10,000 tickets have already been sold.

With the Men’s IT20 already sold out, this is your last chance to see Pakistan at Edgbaston next summer and tickets are available from only £17, with under 16s £5.