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Cricket has seen some dramatic changes over the last few years

with the introduction of T20 cricket of particular note, but one other

area of the sport that has developed hugely over the last decade

- and which continues to do so - is the prominence, importance

and standard of the Women’s game. Four years ago the Dragon

was lucky enough to have

Maia Bouchier

in the School, the first

girl ever to represent the school on the 1st XI. Maia has gone on

to achieve great things in cricket during her time at Rugby School

and is currently part of the England U19 Squad; she has realistic

aspirations of going on to earn full national colours. With the Dragon

girls having just had a very successful taster of cricket in their

annual match against Primrose Hill, I managed to catch up with

Maia and asked her to reflect on the influence she feels the Dragon

had on her cricket and where her future is heading.

An Interview with

Maia Bouchier (OD 2012)

By Patrick Foster, Teaching staff member

Maia, since leaving the Dragon

I understand that your cricket has

gone from strength to strength.

Can you tell me which teams you

have represented since leaving

the Dragon and for whom you are

currently playing?

Past teams:

England Women’s Development

Programme U15 / Middlesex Women’s U15

/ Rugby School U15A / Rugby School U16A

Current teams:

England Women’s

Development Programme U19 / Middlesex

Senior Team / Middlesex U19 / Rugby

School 2nd XI

How much of your success do

you attribute to the coaching and

opportunities that you had here

at the Dragon? Do you believe

your experience of playing against

boys from an early age made

a difference?

The Dragon was the first school team I

played for and it was a challenge to play

against the boys. Mr Went had a real

impact on my cricket. He made me feel

comfortable playing in a boys’ team. We

had a great side – the Dragon 1st XI was

unbeaten in my last year – and it made a

huge difference too to play with outstanding

cricketers like Hector Hardman (now in the

Eton 1st XI) and Jonty Robinson.

You have obviously already

achieved a lot in the game, but what

are your aspirations going forward?

My aspiration is to play for England. But first

I need to be a regular in the U19 England

team and that is my target for this summer.

What is your advice to girls

out there who are interested in

cricket, but are worried about the

fact that it is traditionally a male

dominated sport?

Girls should just enjoy their sport and not

be afraid to take on the boys – we can be just

as good as them. I have such fun playing in

a team and we all get on so well. When you

play cricket you spend a lot of time with your

team and become real friends. All Dragon

girls should play cricket. It is SO much better

than rounders!

Are there any other female

cricketers that you particularly look

up to and why?

Charlotte Edwards is a great ambassador for

the game. She is a role model for me because

she played all her junior cricket with boys.

She was also the youngest woman player

for England (she was 15 – one year younger

than me). And Holly Colvin too – she came

to visit the Dragon and was the first England

cricketer I met.

Maia is in the thick of her GCSEs and I

am very grateful to her for giving up the

time to answer these questions. I was

lucky enough in my playing days to do

a lot of training with England Captain

Charlotte Edwards as she was based in

Northamptonshire. I was blown away

by her professionalism and drive as well

as her outstanding ability, all of which

qualities we can also attribute to Maia.

All of us here who were lucky enough

to coach Maia would say that her ability,

enthusiasm, determination to succeed,

and the way she was unfazed by the fact

she was playing with boys, was a pleasure

to see. She can hopefully be an inspiration

to all the girls out there who want to play

cricket and indeed who have dreams to

go all the way in any sport.