Surrey County Cricket Club are celebrating their heroes of the women’s game with a new mural by the Tenison Gate on the Harleyford Road side of the ground.
The display features players from all eras of women’s cricket at the club, from the 1930s to the present day.
Amongst legends like Molly Hide and Jan Brittin, and modern stars like Sophia Dunkley and Nat Sciver, sits Ebony Rainford-Brent MBE – the former Surrey captain and World Cup winner.
Ebony, current Director of Culture and Values at Surrey and Chair of the ACE Programme, said of featuring on the display: “It’s really exciting to see the women’s game start to grow in visibility. There’s still a long way to go but women players being represented, and being so prominent, at The Kia Oval is clearly a positive step.
“Surrey played, and continue to play, such a big part in my life so I’m tremendously honoured to now be a fixture at the ground. I’m also delighted to be alongside brilliant players like Sophia and Nat, as well as legends like Molly Hide and Jan Brittin.
“Hopefully people coming to watch a game get the message that cricket really is a game for everyone.”
Surrey CEO Steve Elworthy said: “The woman’s game is a vital part of the Surrey identity and it’s important that is represented around the ground. I want everyone who visits The Kia Oval to see that cricket is a game for everyone.
“The display by the Tenison Gate has been up for just a week and already I’ve seen images on social media of parents taking pictures of their children by it, educating them about the great women of Surrey’s history. That, to me, shows the importance of visibility.”
Dr. Raf Nicholson, a historian of women’s cricket from Bournemouth University said: “It’s fantastic to see the long history of women’s cricket so visibly represented at The Oval. I’ve been researching the subject for over a decade, and it’s still much less well-known than the history of the men’s game, so it’s wonderful to think that this display will encourage young girls (and boys!) to grow up knowing the names of pioneers like Molly Hide and Jan Brittin. Displays like this are incredibly important to show that cricket is and always has been a sport for women as well as men.”
We’re celebrating some of the iconic women of Surrey CCC in our brand new display at the Tenison Gap.— Surrey Cricket (@surreycricket) July 7, 2022
From Molly Hide and Jan Brittin to @ejrainfordbrent, @natsciver and @dunkleysophia, we’re proud of the impact they’ve had on and off the pitch 🏏#SurreyCricket pic.twitter.com/lP0eB3B3It
Molly Hide captained Surrey Women for over a decade during her 21 years at the club and also led England in the women’s Test played at The Oval in 1937, the seventh ever Test match and the third in England. A prodigious all-rounder, Hide represented her country in 15 Tests, scoring two hundreds and taking 36 wickets. She was well-known as a no-nonsense character who dedicated her life to Surrey and England cricket, serving as Chairman of the Surrey WCA between 1946 and 1967 and President between 1968 and 1979.
Jan Brittin represented Surrey between 1977 and 1998 and coached youngsters at the club after her retirement. She became England’s leading run-scorer in the home World Cup victory in 1993, notching up centuries against Denmark and India before taking the winning catch in the final against New Zealand. An athletic fielder, she holds the record for the most World Cup catches with 19 and was awarded an MBE in 1999 for services to cricket. Brittin also co-founded Kwik Cricket with Mike Gatting to increase the prominence of cricket in state schools.
Ebony Rainford-Brent’s contribution to Surrey CCC has been outstanding since joining the club under-11’s squad. She captained Surrey’s senior team in 2011 when the side won promotion to division one of the women’s County Championship and she has since gone on to be a champion of diversity and women’s cricket at the club in her role as Director of Surrey Women’s Cricket. In 2020 she launched the African-Caribbean Engagement (ACE) programme, which is broadly aimed at encouraging more black teenagers into cricket. She was awarded an MBE in 2021 for services to cricket and charity.
Nat Sciver joined Surrey as a teenager and progressed through the ranks to captain the Surrey Stars, making an impact with bat and ball. She made her debut for England in 2013 and was part of the famous World Cup winning side in 2017 as well as being the leading wicket-taker for Surrey in the Women’s Cricket Super League that same year. She was a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2018. She scored a century in the World Cup final earlier this year and has just scored a hundred in the Test against South Africa at Taunton.
Sophia Dunkley is one of the newest and most exciting talents to come out of Surrey CCC. An explosive batter and leg-break bowler, she was the leading run-scorer in the 2019 County Championship and took a wicket in the final of the 2018 Women’s Cricket Super League as Surrey Stars claimed their first title. In 2020 Dunkley became the first black woman to play Test cricket for England and went on to play in the 2022 Women’s Ashes and Women’s World Cup.
In displaying this mural, Surrey CCC is delighted to be celebrating the rich history of the players who have represented the Club.