Worth is proud to have been named as one of The Cricketer magazine’s leading schools for cricket in Britain for a fifth year in succession and especially pleased that the award reflects how our programme benefits both boys and girls.
A number of girls who have been to the School are making great strides in women’s cricket, including Claudie Cooper who was last year named as Surrey’s Bowler of the Year; Alice Grant who was Kent Women’s Emerging Player of the Year in 2022 and who was selected for South East Stars; and Nikki Chaudhuri who now combines playing cricket for Surrey with commentating on the sport.
Among the current Worth student cohort there are players on the Sussex pathway.
With the cricket season at Worth beginning this weekend, we spoke to Nikki – daughter of Worth’s Head of Cricket Raj Chaudhuri – about how the cricket programme at Worth helps girls who are ambitious to progress in the sport.
Nikki, who left Worth in 2016 and has also played for Worcestershire, said: “You learn so much in those few years going through the School’s programme. Personally, I was the only girl playing among the senior boys; I was in Year 10 or 11 when I played my first 1st XI game, you are among seniors and you have got some self pride, you are always looking to improve and you want to make your space in that team worth it.
“The cricket programme at Worth has really benefitted me, it is so much easier to develop playing in ‘boys’ cricket’ and then going into girls’ cricket than the other way around.”
She continued: “The pace of the game in ‘boys’ cricket’ is significantly faster. Being in that position where you have to adapt, to be quicker, the thought processes have to be adjusted, you have got to be on the ball more in terms of fielding, your field placement, it really helps. Also, playing together with boys builds toughness because you are trying to prove yourself. It builds toughness, it builds resilience and it does prove your character.”
Asked in boys and girls are treated the same at Worth, Nikki agreed. She said: “From what I have seen with the likes of Claudie, Alice and others who have come through the programme at Worth, you are treated the same but everyone has got to earn their place in the team. Ultimately it is about your ability rather than your gender.
“I was never treated as the odd one out, which is a great feeling especially when you are going to be playing with a team so frequently like we used to two or three days a week; it was a good experience.”
As well as commentating, Nikki has done some presenting and hosting, as well as marketing work for Surrey. She has recently made her BBC Five Live commentary debut, but her first major commentary experience came covering the New Zealand men’s international team playing Sussex at Hove. She said: “It was rather daunting and I definitely had to do my research before it started but it showcases your knowledge as a cricketer and how much you can speak and comment about the game. Again, commenting on men’s cricket is easier when you have played men’s cricket, so that again is another perk of the cricket programme at Worth.”
Watch our cricket film previewing the 2023 season at Worth, which starts with a game against Sussex Martlets on Sunday.