A BRADFORD cricket ground will host its first women’s match in almost 40 years with a special clash this summer.

Bradford Park Avenue, which re-opened last year after a redevelopment, will be the venue for the Women’s Bowling Out Gender Inequality campaign clash on Monday, August 6, from noon. The T20, or 20 overs, 11-a-side contest, will see UK Armed Forces (UKAF) Ladies take on an Inspirational Ladies side.

The community cricket festival, which is in partnership with the UK Armed Forces, wants to highlight the importance of community cohesion, promote positive health, tolerance, and encourage gender equality.

The organisers are keen to invite different communities to come together through cricket and improve perceptions, attitudes and understanding of each other, with an aim for people to realise their potential through sport leading to positive life choices.

The annual game, now in its third year, has previously been played at Headingley and The Royal Chelsea Gardens, Burton Court.

Bradford Park Avenue has not hosted a women’s match since 1981, when women’s cricket legends Baroness Heyhoe-Flint and Janette Brittin faced off for their respective club sides in a national knock-out match.

The ground was also one of the venues in the first ever Women’s World Cup where Heyhoe-Flint’s England women beat Jamaica on their way to winning the tournament in 1973. Over the coming years, the ground is hoping to host England women’s internationals, Yorkshire Diamonds fixtures, England Disability cricket and a one-day Yorkshire match every year.

Halima Khan, Opening Boundaries managing director, said: “We are delighted to bring the women’s game to Bradford.

“I am looking forward to showcasing some amazing women from both teams who are promoting gender equality through sport on many levels.

“To mark the centenary since the first women secured the right to vote in the UK, we will be playing the game under the campaign name Bowling Out Gender Inequality.

“After 37 years, it’s truly a remarkable moment to see women’s cricket returning here.”

The day will begin at 10am with junior coaching and small sided activities, followed by the women’s T20 game.

l For more information, email info@openingboundaries.org