Sussex eyeing female keeper

Sarah Taylor

One of England’s top female cricketers could become the first woman to play for a men’s English county side after holding talks with Sussex about becoming the backup wicketkeeper for its second team.

Sarah Taylor says Sussex contacted the women’s national-team coach Mark Lane about using her next season.

Taylor said today that “there’s part of me doubting myself … but I would love to do it.”

Taylor will play for a men’s club team in Birmingham this year but could be on standby if Sussex needed a wicketkeeper on short notice.

The 23-year-old Taylor, who is about to leave for the 50-over World Cup in India, says it is a “daunting” prospect, but “it’s brilliant that [Lane] backs me to do it in men’s cricket.”

“Mark is looking at me getting some games with the second XI at Sussex and that will be just phenomenal cricket. The plan is also for me to play some early season games for the MCC boys. Mark is trying to get me a lot of men’s cricket which can only help my game.”

Taylor would target the longer form of limited-overs cricket where the difference in power would be more easily accommodated. One of the measurable differences between the women’s and men’s game is that it is played with a slightly smaller cricket ball.

Taylor is regarded as one of the finest women cricketers of all time. She averages 39.42 from 71 one-day internationals including four hundreds and has a strike-rate of 112 from her 46 Twenty20s (the fifth highest among players to have made 15 or more appearances) alongside an average of 32.94.

In 2011, Taylor’s England team-mate Arran Brindle became the first woman to score a hundred in men’s Premier League cricket as she hit 128 for Louth in the Lincolnshire League. (Cricinfo)

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