Isabelle Skirts the Boundary for Girls on the Front Foot

The Cricket Foundation is delighted to announce that Girls on the Front Foot is the beneficiary of a new book on the history of women’s cricket by Isabelle Duncan, ‘Skirting The Boundary’.

‘Skirting the Boundary’ is a portrayal of the history of the women’s game starting in the late eighteenth century, when ladies made their first mark on cricket, to the highs and lows of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, culminating in the contemporary superstars dominating world cricket.

The book was launched at a rooftop reception on the Lord’s pavilion last week with the great and the good of the cricketing world attending. Special guests included Sir Tim Rice, Clare Connor OBE, Mike Gatting, Anneka Rice, Alison Mitchell, and Baroness Rachel Heyhoe-Flint CBE as well as current England stars Sarah Taylor and Lydia Greenway.

Alison Mitchell hosted the event and guests were treated to a talk with Isabelle as well as an Ashes Q&A with Clare Connor, Mike Gatting and Sarah Taylor. They also heard from Chance to Shine participant, Grace Smith, on her dreams to play cricket for England and from Lois Turner on how, despite being affected by several different visual impairments, including Aniridia, StreetChance has helped improve her confidence and her quality of life.

Isabelle, talking at the launch, said, “I really felt there was a huge gap that needed to be filled. The last book of any note was written by Rachel Heyhoe-Flint called Fair Play. It is a wonderful book, and I used it a lot for research purposes but an awful lot has happened since then. The women have won World Cups and T20 world tournaments, they’ve had Test matches, and England have been on top of the world. I really felt that that needed to be covered, and women have had so much more exposure now through cricket, with Sky covering it, and more money going into it through the ECB and the ICC, and women’s cricket has improved dramatically because of that.

Explaining why she choose Chance to Shine as the charity benefitting from the book, Isabelle said, “I felt it fitted in so well. I sit on the board for ‘Girls on the Front Foot’, which aims to focus on just girls in inner city and state schools, to empower them through cricket, and to get them playing the game. I just felt it fitted in so well. This is a book about women’s cricket, where it originated from and where it has got to now, and everything in between. I hope this will inspire girls to play, but I also wanted some of the money to go to that cause, because it is so relevant.”

Sports commentator and journalists, Alison Mitchell, hosted the launch and was full of praise for Isabelle and Chance to Shine, commenting, “It’s wonderful that Izzy has chosen the Cricket Foundation and Girls on the Front Foot as the beneficiary, thereby driving female participation in both Chance to Shine and StreetChance. It will mean more girls playing in state schools and more girls involved with the projects in the inner city areas as well. It’s hugely generous of Izzy, and it was a fantastic turnout tonight, of people supporting the cause and going out to buy the book!”

Delivered by the Cricket Foundation, Girls on the Front Foot is a fundraising initiative aiming to empower girls through cricket. The initiative will receive fifty percent of the profits from the book. Through raising at least half a million pounds, Girls on the Front Foot aims to: Ensure that girls across the country have opportunities to play cricket and to access the health and educational benefits of regular physical activity. Enable girls in disadvantaged communities to engage in regular, positive activity led by inspiring role models. Develop life skills and values for young girls that will help them to live purposeful lives and pursue successful careers, as well as identifying and developing girls’ cricketing talent.

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