Duo fly Chichester flag as Sussex cricketers play in Dubai

Jade and Sophie outside the stadium in Dubai
Jade and Sophie outside the stadium in Dubai

Two students from the University of Chichester have played for Sussex women’s under-19s in an international cricket tournament in Dubai.

Sophie Parnell and Jade Elphick were part of the team who competed in the Arabian Cricket Challenge (ARCH).

The Sussex team was established only last year; previously the women’s section had gone up to under-17s then straight to seniors.

Parnell and Elphick are not the first female cricketers to study at the university; indeed, when it was a training college for female teachers between 1873 and 1957, it operated a competitive women’s cricket team.

The present-day institution continues to be a big promoter of women’s sport and is the home of the Anita White Foundation (AWF), which holds the archive of the women’s sport movement.

The team won all three of their group games - against Lancashire, Wales and Scotland - to progress to the final, where they faced Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), selected from England’s under-19 development squad. They were unable to continue their winning streak, coming within 22 runs of victory but falling just short.

Elphick said: “I got into cricket from about the age of nine and have played for my county (Sussex) ever since and also play for the Brighton & Hove CC women’s XI with Sophie.

“It was amazing and such a good opportunity. We were lucky enough to play on international Test grounds including Zayed Stadium. I took a wicket in the final - my figures were one for 19 from seven overs. Sophie also batted very well in the final.”

Parnell said: “I’ve been playing cricket for about 11 years now and have made my way through the SWCA set up from under-11s. I started playing for the Sussex women seniors in 2009 and I’m still in that team.”