Some the South Canterbury schoolgirl cricketers keen to start the new South Canterbury women’s Twenty20 cricket competition this season are (from left) Jessica Gale, 16, Amy Rayner, 15, Gabrielle Macgregor, 15 and Erica Phillips 14.

Some the South Canterbury schoolgirl cricketers keen to start the new South Canterbury women’s Twenty20 cricket competition this season are (from left) Jessica Gale, 16, Amy Rayner, 15, Gabrielle Macgregor, 15 and Erica Phillips 14.

South Canterbury Cricket is turning its focus to Twenty20 (T20) cricket to foster the next generation of top women’s cricketers from the region.

The new women’s T20 competition, which starts on November 2, will be based at Mountainview High School’s No 2 and No 3 pitches.

The competition will be the focal point of women’s cricket this season and was likely to have a minimum of four and a maximum of six teams with a pre-Christmas and post-Christmas competition being run.

It could see players taking part in up to 14 T20 games this season.

It is expected the teams will be made up of secondary school players representing their schools, but South Canterbury Cricket development officer, Shane Gilkison, said the top year 7 and 8 cricketers could play a part and were capable of matching it against the older players.

He said he was keen to stop the drop off of numbers from intermediate school cricketers to high school players.

There were more than 140 intermediate schoolgirl cricketers in South Canterbury last season, but it was a struggle to find 50 female high school players.

South Canterbury has a proud history of producing top level women’s cricketers with several of them making the Canterbury Magicians and Otago Sparks sides over the years and moving on to play for the White Ferns, like Rowan Milburn, Haidee Tiffen and Janet Brehaut.

Milburn will co-ordinate the matches and work alongside the various coaches.

South Canterbury Cricket chief executive Tony Lewis said the competition would show there was a future for aspiring cricketers in South Canterbury

“We want to illustrate to the 144 girls in year 7 and 8 that participate in our primary schools’ cricket competition that there is a pathway for them into the senior game.”

Lewis said his organisation would accommodate any keen to play the sport and help them find a team.

Gilkison said there was an option to play some 30-over cricket matches later in the season if there was interest from players.

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