Sometimes the stars align – and when they do, you must grab the opportunity with both hands.

And Hampton Wick Royal Cricket Club’s newly-formed girls team shows we’ve done just that.

A 2022 Wisden Magazine article took an in-depth look at a local school – Heathfield Primary – and the great work James Watson had done to bring cricket into PE lessons and after-school sport sessions.

HWRCC Chairman Sam Kemp said: “The gist of the piece was James was doing a great job but the kids, particularly the girls, needed access to club cricket to broaden their opportunities to play the game competitively.”

Now, let’s be honest – cricket committees are not well known for their rapid decision-making.

But in just a few short months, HWRCC has welcomed Heathfield girls en masse to the Wick as members.

Not only that – they are winning!

During the winter, OUR girls’ side beat Teddington, East Molesey, Churt and Pyrford in the Surrey under-11 Smash indoor events.

And 12 of Heathfield’s girls have been invited on the Middlesex Area pathway programme.

The girls will be representing the Wick in both Surrey and Middlesex leagues this summer and will also play in the season-opening *Surrey “Smash It” Festival – which is being hosted at HWRCC.

‘The girls had never even picked up a bat or ball’

Not bad – especially when you consider James and Callum Donnelly only introduced them to the game at the tail-end of the Covid pandemic.

“It seemed the obvious game to play really with all the social distancing rules, but the girls had never even picked up a bat or a ball,” James said.

“And they’ve loved it. It’s a real social thing for them.

“They can play a competitive sport with their mates and it’s great to see the effect it’s having on them all.

“Some of these kids would find it really hard to join a local club as individuals… because of their backgrounds, they feel they would not fit in.

‘Hampton Wick is a shining light to other clubs’

“But Hampton Wick has given them the chance to represent a club together – and I can’t thank them enough.

“Hampton Wick is a shining light to other cricket clubs, and what they can do to promote our game and at the same time help kids in more deprived communities.

“There’s so much talent out there – it’s about making sure that everyone has the same opportunities to fulfil theirs.”

‘It’s an exciting time for girls’ cricket at The Wick’

*The Surrey “Smash It” Festival is open to all Surrey girls cricket club teams from U7 – U13 and The Wick will be hosting the event in partnership with the Surrey Cricket Foundation.

HWRCC is hosting the event on Sunday, April 30. Come along and see for yourselves the quality and enthusiasm of our U11 girls’ squad.

Sam added: “This is an exciting time for girls’ cricket at The Wick and none of it would have been possible without the unerring support of James and Callum.”