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MEMBERS of Gloucestershire’s girls and women’s squads lifted cricket to new heights today with what is thought to be the first ever game staged on the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge!

Seven girls took advantage of annual maintenance on Brunel’s masterpiece and the lack of traffic to practise their batting and bowling skills to help publicise Women’s Big Cricket Month which starts on June 1.

This ECB initiative aims to give more women and girls the chance to play, follow or attend cricket, and in Bristol it includes the staging of the England- India women’s Test match at the County Ground, starting on June 16.

Laura Charles-Price, the GCB’s women’s and girls’ development officer, said: “This has been a brilliant opportunity to showcase our sport and the growing number of opportunities for young girls and women to play cricket.

“It definitely helps shine a light on the Women’s Big Cricket Month in June and the many different types of cricket that are now available across the county at all age levels.

“Today is a day these girls will remember for a very long time.”

Katie Dolman, a 17-year-old pupil at Clifton College who plays for Gloucestershire Women, said: “I got started through my family and have played since I was about eight.

“This experience is unheard of, no one has ever played cricket on the bridge before so it’s amazing for Gloucestershire cricket. It’s a really cool experience.”

Trish Johnson, the Bridgemaster of the Clifton Suspension Bridge, said: “I’m not sure that there’s ever been any cricket played here before – and the bridge is 156 years old – so this is probably a once in a lifetime opportunity!

“The bridge was closed for three days of annual maintenance, including inspecting the chains and clearing the drains, and we were very glad to be able to help.

“I’m a woman engineer and it’s great to see women getting into sport and science and doing just as much as the men do.”

For details of girls’ and women’s cricket in Gloucestershire, and links to local clubs with teams, visit www.gloucestershirecricketboard.com

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