Twenty-three-old reportedly in talks with county.
Sarah Taylor, the England women’s wicket-keeper, could feature for Sussex’s men’s 2nd XI this season.
Taylor, who is about to set off with the rest of the England team to defend their 50-overs world title in India, has reportedly been in talks with the county.
The 23-year-old played her school cricket for Sussex-based Brighton College, where former pupils include ex-England women’s captain Clare Connor.
Now Taylor is being championed in her quest to play men’s county 2nd XI cricket — just one rung below first-class standard — by England women’s coach Mark Lane.
“Mark is looking at me getting some games with the second XI at Sussex and that will be just phenomenal cricket,” Taylor said in an interview published on The Guardian’s website.
“The plan is also for me to play some early season games for the MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club) boys. Mark is trying to get me a lot of men’s cricket which can only help my game.
“It’s just a case of here could be an opportunity for me. Someone at Sussex approached Mark and asked if there was anyone who could keep (wicket) and Laney, being Laney, was quick to back me.
“It’s daunting but it’s brilliant that he backs me to do it in men’s cricket. The MCC also approached him about me playing for them. Part of me knows it would be phenomenal. But there’s part of me doubting myself.
“I’ve just got to start believing in myself a little bit more. But I would love to do it. It would be such a challenge.”
Former England seamer Mike Selvey, now a cricket correspondent at The Guardian, has suggested Taylor is the one woman whose skills as both a wicketkeeper and batsman could conceivably allow her to play first-class cricket.
Many women who have been dominant figures in gender-segregated sports have been attracted to the challenge of competing against men, whose generally greater physical strength is reckoned to give them a huge advantage, after sweeping all before them in women-only events.
For example four-time overall women’s World Cup skiing champion Lindsey Vonn is trying to persuade officials to let her race against men.
But US golfer Michelle Wie’s forays into male tournaments have been largely unsuccessful, with the 23-year-old making only one cut in a men’s event.
Ashes tickets are currently available. Book your seat for the opening Test with Australia at Trent Bridge on July 10th as England look to retain the urn.
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