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Japan’s 2021 women’s national cricket squad trials

In April 2021, I photographed the Japanese women’s national cricket squad trials.  As a cricket fan, it was a dream come true.  Never did I think I’d photograph national-level sport.  So, I was up at 5 am to be in Tochigi Prefecture by 9.  Yes, it was a long trip, but thoroughly worth it.  I saw some great cricketers in action that day.  But, how will they compare against the stars of previous generations?

game practice at national cricket squad trials

At that stage, no one knew.  But, High-Performance Manager Simon Dart wanted to find out.  He put the applicants through fitness and skills tests.   It looked challenging.  I’m sure the applicants were tired by the end of it.

net batting practice at national cricket squad trials

After lunch, there was a pair batting competition.  It was entertaining.  The players displayed high bowling, batting, and fielding skills.  And they were supportive and encouraged each other.  Cricket is a team game, and they showed a positive and cooperative attitude. 

One of the new players on the squad was Chelsea Moscript from Australia.  She was now eligible for Japan.  According to Simon Dart,  she brought energy and is a quality player with a wealth of experience.  I saw her bowl a few overs of leg spin.  She impressed me with her skills.

cricket with cherry blossoms at Sano International Cricket Ground

Another player that impressed me was Ayaka Kanada.  Kanada was a young pace bowler who had been around for a while.  She seemed to have good technique and was fast and accurate.  At 24, she still has lots of time.  I’m expecting big things from her.

Ayaka Kanada bowling at Sano International Cricket Ground

As the day was trials, I didn’t get to see a lot of the batters.  They only had a few overs to show their stuff.  Many of them seemed to have good technique and patience from what I saw.  It will be good to see them in actual games.

batter bowled at national cricket squad trials

And there was something to make the day a big occasion for me.  Sano International Cricket Ground has cherry blossoms!  How many venues in the world have those?  The flowers added something unique to the day.  I never thought I would see a game played under one of the trees!

batter and wicketkeeper at Japan national cricket squad trials

The players were happy to be back in action after coronavirus wiped out games in 2020.  Competitive cricket was back.  I got to photograph a few more games that season.  

Miho Kanno bowling in nets-

If you want to see more cricket in Japan articles, look at:

It was good to see the women’s national cricket squad trials at Sano International Cricket Ground.  People are moving there to get more involved in the sport.  Many universities in the country have clubs.  Osaka has a venue for it, at Kaizuka.  Games are being live-streamed via Youtube.  Cricket in Japan is definitely on the rise!  And the women will be among those leading the charge.

3 thoughts on “Japan’s 2021 women’s national cricket squad trials”

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