Warwickshire Cricket Board (WCB) recently brought back its Glow in the Dark cricket programme, GLOW, for more than 60 girls, aged 14-years-old and over, for a festival at Starbank Academy sports hall in Birmingham.

Having started after-school cricket sessions over the last 10 weeks of the autumn term as part of WCB’s South Asian Core Cities programme, girls from Starbank School, Tile Cross Academy, Hillcrest School and Bordesley Green Girls’ School tackled a very different cricketing challenge.

All games were played in the dark using UV reactive equipment and in luminous coloured clothing to create the exciting glow in the dark effect, with music playing throughout. Each school was given bibs, sweatbands and face paint in a different fluorescent colour, whilst the stumps, bats and balls were all taped up to glow in the dark.

“It’s great to see the girls enjoying themselves,” said WCB Community Participation Officer Mina Zahoor who led on the Glow project.

“Most of the girls don’t get an opportunity to play cricket outside of school, so this is their chance to play the game competitively after being so committed to the after-school sessions over the last few weeks.

Mina Zahoor, “It’s great to see the girls enjoying themselves,” said WCB Community Participation Officer Mina Zahoor who led on the Glow project.”

“You can see how much it means to the girls to take part in an event like this with other schools after all the hard work the players, teachers and coaches have put in. Everyone here loves this brand of cricket.”

GLOW was launched in May 2017 by the Edgbaston Foundation to celebrate the arrival of the ICC men’s Champions Trophy and women’s Cricket World Cup Trophy tour in the region. Further events took place at schools in 2018 to present cricket to girls in a new way.

Commenting on the session, Miss Reeves from Hillcrest School said: “For most of the girls this is the first competitive event they have attended. As a school, it’s also the first competition that we have been able to participate in since the pandemic and WCB have been brilliant helping with the logistics to get us here.

“Most of the girls don’t play in any other teams and this is something different that they really enjoy doing. It’s a new experience for many of them to play competitive sport against another school.

“The atmosphere here is different from other sports tournaments. It’s competitive, but friendly, and the glow in the dark aspect brings a whole new element for the girls. The students love Mina, and she is a great role model for them.”