A team of cricketers from Bradford and the surrounding areas have reached the finals of the MCC Foundation National Tournament and will experience playing a match on the main pitch at Lord’s Cricket Ground on 20 September 2021 against Cotswolds girls.

The story is all the more incredible because the team was only put together in May 2021.

Amy Brown-Carreras, 15, an all-rounder for the Bradford team, can’t wait to play at Lord’s.

“Being given the opportunity to play at Lord’s is a dream come true,” Amy said. “Playing at the home of cricket where so many legendary moments have happened that I have watched from my sofa is almost surreal. Many incredible cricketers don’t ever get the opportunity to play at Lord’s and for me to be playing a final there makes me extremely grateful”

The players train at Woodlands Cricket Club in Bradford, and thanks to funding from the MCC, they receive quality coaching without incurring any cost to the player. The foundation was founded in 1993. It is the charitable arm of Marylebone Cricket Club and aims to transform lives through cricket, and open up pathways for young cricketers, regardless of race, gender and economic circumstance.

For some of the girls, this is the only opportunity they have to train and play in an all-female environment.

Ellis Rawlin, bowler, has thoroughly enjoyed being part of the MCCF hub, saying: “It’s been an extremely positive experience, it’s enabled me to play more women’s cricket and I have had some amazing coaching that has really helped me improve and feel more confident in my performance. In addition, I’ve been able to make some great friendships all of us sharing that passion for cricket in common”

Hub manager Katie Stewart added: “I am so proud of what this team of girls have achieved. When you are 14 or 15 year old girl there are many competing distractions, but since coming together in May they have developed the most amazing team spirit and have really impressed me with their commitment and sheer hard work.

“Praise has to go to their coach, Salim, who goes above and beyond to help them improve their cricket and to ensure enjoyment of the game is at the forefront.

“We are very grateful to UDP Traffic Management who are generously sponsoring some kit for us. We hope to receive our new hoodies soon!”

The coach at the centre of the girls’ success, Mohamed Salim, was determined from the start to get the team to Lord’s.

“I have coached most of these players for a long time and I knew they could do it with the right support. They are a fantastic team of girls. We are really looking forward to the whole experience of playing at Lord’s, but I am competitive and we are going there to win!

“None of this would be possible without the support from Woodlands Cricket Club who have made their outdoor and indoor facilities available whenever needed”

The Bradford team have a friendly match against Pudsey St Lawrence U15s on Sunday 12th September and their last training session before Lord’s is at Woodlands CC on Tuesday the 14th September.

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