SWR Women’s Coordinator Yearning To Get Going

Sandra Ibarra in the United Arab Emirates. (Photo: Taskeen Mozaffar)

Ibarra, who lives and works in Los Angeles, says there needs to be a different system in place to help the game grow.
“I need help from a team of people when I start a campaign to recruit players,” she said in an interview with USACA.org.
“It is one step at a time and I am taking this seriously. The plan is to go to colleges to recruit players. I want to give a sports athlete another option.
“Someone who plays softball or another sport just might want a change.”
Ibarra, 34, who has represented the US senior team as an all-rounder two years ago, sees the future of the game in the United States by setting a base of American-born youth to play cricket. Her vision is similar to many others who believe it is vitally important to start at grassroots level.
Sandra Ibarra walks off the ground at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, UAE, following a match against the Emirates Veterans. (Photo: Taskeen Mozaffar)
The Public School Athletic League in New York, Jamie Harrison’s United States Youth Cricket Association and the American Cricket College are three bodies that aim at youth, high school and college players to build a foundation for the game to expand.
Ibarra, who works as a manager with an architectural firm, said her role was to see the game flourish and added: “The players we recruit are not just for the nets. We want them to play.”
Asked about her role as the South West Region’s Women’s Coordinator, she said: “I am not a politician. It is all new to me, but I am taking it very seriously.
“I want to be someone who is standing up for the girls. I hope to pave the way for women and make it easier for others who follow.
“I would like to pass on to others what I have achieved, experienced and learned in my time in cricket. I hope I can also help teams improve.”
Ibarra still wants to play and is hoping to win selection in the US senior team for the World Cup qualifiers in Bangladesh later this year.
Right now she is practicing in the nets with the men’s Hollywood Cricket Club to try to keep her medium pace bowling and batting stay sharp and in shape.
Her schedule is to play with the Youth Team in the Southern California Cricket Association, which she says, allows women and men to play in the same X1. The next step is to play in the nationals in New York from July 1 to July 4 and then get selected in the US team for the World Cup qualifiers.
She also plans to play in the 20/20 tournament in Florida from October 7 to October 9.
Ibarra recently went on a World Cup tour to India, Sri Lanka and Dubai with the Hollywood Cricket Club Golden Oldies. Each year the group takes a trip with a cricket theme.
“It was fantastic,” said Ibarra. “We got tickets for the quarter and semi final matches.
“The trip took three weeks and I played in several matches. I feel really good as an American to have played in matches in India, Sri Lanka and Dubai.
“After watching the World Cup matches and playing there I got to feel the real effect of cricket. There is a real passion there.”
Ibarra said that she now had a goal to take a US women’s team to play in cricket playing countries.
“It will be a great experience,” she said.

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