She made history as the first female to play in Canberra's premier men's cricket competition. But the only concern for Weston Creek Molonglo bowler Kira Churchland was helping her side into the Gallop Cup one-day final.
Churchland made an impact with three catches, including the big wicket of Wests/UC opener Darren Richards, to help Creek to a 71-run win at Jamison Oval on Sunday.
The ACT Meteors representative was told on Saturday night she would become the first woman in the 87-year history of the ACT Cricket Association to play in the first-grade competition. She is also the first Australian woman to play in a first-grade competition in an Australian capital city. Churchland's immediate thoughts when getting the call-up was whether she could back up from playing 94 overs for the club's second-grade side on Saturday where she took three wickets.
It's a really interesting feeling compared to women's cricket.
"Being the first female player doesn't bother me, I just want to play as much cricket as I can and obviously helping the boys get the win and push them into the grand final"
Most of the guys I play with are really good and I have never had too many issues with guys.
This isn't the first time Churchland has broken new ground. She was also the first female player in the first-grade competition in Orange in 2010. Churchland bowled only one over that cost nine runs, but pulled off a sensational catch in the deep to dismiss Richards, who smashed 27 off just 11 balls. The ACT Cricket Association began in 1922, but there was no competition for six years because of World War II. Since then, about 5000 players have taken part in the ACT first-grade competition.
Creek all-rounder Blake Dean said Churchland didn't look out of place and that she had earned her spot in the team. "She was the best player that was in next so the call had to be made to bring her into the team," Dean said. "It definitely wasn't a token gesture. "She's one of the louder ones out there and is rocketing the ball back in from the boundary while the rest of us old men are struggling. "We realised the significance of it and we're proud of the Meteors to begin with because we love having a first-class outfit in Canberra. "Creek made 5-284 before Wests/UC were bowled out for 213 in reply.
Source - Canberra Times