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A new competition fronted by England and Western Storm captain Heather Knight will give eleven girls from across the country the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join the England team for a training session ahead of the Ashes this summer.

2019 will be a massive year for the England Women’s team, culminating in a home Ashes series against Australia. To mark the occasion the ECB is teaming up with the nine First-Class Counties hosting international women’s cricket this year to launch the #HeathersPride competition on International Women’s Day.

Women’s and girls’ cricket in England in Wales continues to grow and to celebrate that this competition, fronted by Heather, will give 11 girls across the country a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join the England team for a training session ahead of the Ashes.

The competition was announced on ECB social media channels on International Women’s Day through a video with Heather.

The competition is open to girls between the ages of seven and 11 across the country.

Nine of the lucky 11 winners will be selected by the nine First-Class Counties hosting England Women’s matches this summer.

Each County will select one worthy winner who has explained to them why they deserve the chance to be a member of #HeathersPride.

The remaining two winners will be selected from across England and Wales by Heather herself, as ‘Captain’s Picks’.

HOW TO ENTER

To enter simply email heatherspride@somersetcountycc.co.uk with the subject: #HeathersPride and explain why you deserve to be the winner!

Entries for the competition will close on 1st May.

Speaking about the competition, Heather said: “International Women’s Day is a great moment to reflect on the progress of women’s and girls’ cricket.

“We’ve made so much progress over the last few years and we want to keep moving forward.

“At the very top we’re pushing towards more depth and having more professional players, while it’s amazing that more and more girls are playing the game through initiatives like All Stars.

“Chance to Shine also celebrated introducing cricket to its two millionth girl this week. It’s exciting to think of how many girls are now choosing cricket.

“Some of the best moments from our win in the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup were seeing young girls imitate us on the side-lines, and hopefully many more will be inspired by this competition to become part of #HeathersPride. I can’t wait to see all the winners in the summer!”

Clare Connor, who was appointed Managing Director of Women’s Cricket at ECB in January 2019, added: “Our strategy for 2020-24 is all about inspiring future generations. This is a great initiative from Heather and the Counties to really bring that to life by giving 11 lucky girls the chance to train with their heroes for the day.

“Whilst International Women’s Day is an appropriate day to celebrate the progress made so far, it’s also important to recognise the challenges we still face in our ultimate ambition of making cricket a gender balanced sport. The Inspiring Generations strategy outlines an ambition to invest £50m into women’s and girls’ cricket over the four-year period and this level of investment will help us continue to both increase the number of women and girls playing recreationally, as well as growing the profile of the elite women’s game.

“England’s victory at the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup created a huge opportunity for us and now we must take that to the next level through this strategy. As all of that exciting work takes shape, I’m looking forward to seeing the training session with the 11 winners of Heather’s Pride and the England women’s team this summer.”

For full competition terms and conditions click here.