Elizabeth Parker Part Of All-Female Groundstaff at Edgbaston


Elizabeth Parker will represent Essex Cricket as part of an all-female ground staff team for the first Women’s Ashes IT20 at Edgbaston on Saturday night.

Elizabeth, known as Zibby, only began working matchdays in Chelmsford this season but has already “become a firm favourite amongst the team,” says Head Grounds person Stuart Kerrison.

Zibby volunteers at Felixstowe Cricket Club helping on the ground where her son, Ben, also plays, while her daughter, Holly, is part of the matchday catering team at The Cloud County Ground.

“In her short career with us, Zibby has been involved in Championship and Blast matches, and has three full international ODIs under her belt from the Ireland v Bangladesh matches,” said Stuart.

“Zibby has been trained on most of the machinery used for ground preparation and is a good worker, enthusiastic, competent and keen to learn.”

Zibby is a "firm favourite amongst the team" says Stuart Kerrigan

Zibby is a “firm favourite amongst the team” says Stuart Kerrison

Zibby will be one of an eight-strong team at Edgbaston that is to be led by Meg Lay, Sports Turf Operative at Gloucestershire CCC’s Seat Unique Stadium.

The initiative of having an all-female ground staff team is part of efforts to promote cricket careers for women and girls.

Meg, who was one the first female ground staff members in professional cricket, hopes the initiative will encourage more women to follow in her footsteps.

She said: “The sports turf industry is 98% men. If we want women to play on the biggest stages, we need women preparing those stages.

“Getting women involved is not an exercise in ticking a box, it is absolutely necessary for women’s sport to continue to thrive. I love the job and the industry is incredibly welcoming.

“Being outside all day and having world class athletes play on pitches I have prepared is a real buzz. I could never go back to a ‘normal’ job.”

Meg added: “I’ve helped prepare every match wicket at Gloucestershire since the day I started, and under the tutelage of Sean Williams, head of sports turf at Gloucestershire, have developed my skills and knowledge immensely. An Ashes pitch will be the highlight of my career so far.

“We’ve brought together an experienced, talented team of women ground staff and I’m confident we can put on a wicket deserving of such a great occasion.

“To any women and girls looking for an exciting, rewarding career in grounds management I would say ‘go for it’.”

As well as Zibby, Meg’s team includes Sports Turf Operatives Jasmine Nicholls, Tara Sandford and Rachel Hunter-Worrall – from Headingley, Arsenal FC and Queen Ethelburga’s College, York, respectively.

Worcestershire CCC grounds apprentice Carlie Lambert, Emily Geach from Boconnoc Cricket Club, Cornwall, and Zoe Jones from the Ageas Bowl complete the line-up.



Both Meg and Claire are part of the Women in Cricket Employee Network which helped support the grounds team initiative.

Claire Dale, Chief People Officer at the ECB and executive sponsor of the Women in Cricket Employee Network from the ECB, added: “Despite progress in recent years, women remain underrepresented in a range of non-playing professional roles in cricket.

“The ECB helped to establish a game-wide Women in Cricket Employee Network, to champion those women already working in the game, and attract more women applicants through targeted interventions and campaigning work.

“There are roles in cricket to suit everyone. Regardless of skillset, prior experience or background, all women can build a rewarding career that suits their aspirations, develops their confidence, and makes a real impact on the game and the communities it serves.’

For more details on training and careers in grounds management, visit the Grounds Management Association website and for volunteering opportunities check out the ECB’s Cricket Collective.