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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 January 2008, 17:17 GMT
Twenty20 proposal excites Connor
Clare Connor
Former England captain Clare Connor is confident plans for a women's World Twenty20 will get the go ahead to run alongside the 2009 men's competition.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has provisionally approved the idea of using women's games as curtain-raisers for the men in England next year.

"I can't see any reason why it won't happen," Connor told BBC Sport.

"Women's cricket is growing at a rapid rate and this is what's needed as a springboard to further success."

Connor has recently taken over as the England and Wales Cricket Board's new head of women's cricket.

And she believes it will be a "fantastic opportunity" for the country's top female players to play at major venues just hours before the likes of Kevin Pietersen, Ricky Ponting, Mahendra Dhoni and Shahid Afridi head out to the middle.

"If you have the England women playing at the Oval at 2.00pm and the men at, say, 6.00pm then we could have a big crowd watching us.

"It shows that the ECB, and everyone I work with, are promoting women's cricket, which is invaluable."

We have to make sure we keep on being successful

Clare Connor

The proposal is still subject to budget approval but the 31-year-old is excited by the prospect of increased sponsorship and television exposure.

"It's not often we have the opportunity to do this kind of thing," said Connor, who led England to victory in the Women's Ashes on home soil two summers ago.

"Having been a player for 10 years I can see how things have changed. There's a massive scope for the game to become semi-professional.

606: DEBATE

"Four of our players - Jenny Gunn, Isa Guha, Beth Morgan and Lydia Greenway - have been playing in Australia since October in preparation for the Ashes.

"They are being funded through the ECB and the lottery and it shows how far things have developed in that girls can now go and play overseas to get more experience.

"Winning the Ashes had a big effect at grassroots level, with more girls playing at schools and clubs. We have to make sure we keep on being successful."

SEE ALSO
Connor focused on England success
04 Oct 07 |  Women's cricket
Women's captain Connor to retire
13 Mar 06 |  Women's cricket
Clare Connor Q&A
02 Jan 06 |  Women's cricket


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