Ten-year-old Emily Cunningham is a gifted cricketer and has registered to play cricket for a third season as Cricket NSW opens its registrations for the new summer this week.




Emily, who played for the Under-11 team at the Peninsula Cricket Club (PCC) in Mona Vale last season, wanted to play cricket when she was all of seven because she saw that her brother Will, two years older than her, was having a great time playing the sport.


One afternoon, while she had tagged along to Will’s training, the coach asked Emily if she wanted to try her hand at bowling. She bowled it with a beautiful bowling action. The ball hit the stumps and the batter, a boy a couple of years older than her, was out!


Her father Dan Cunningham says it was a turning point in his daughter’s life. “She had not played much cricket before that, we realised she had a talent for the game.”


Since that moment, Emily has loved playing cricket. She registered to play in a Cricket Blast team the following year, joined an all-girls team at the PCC a year later, and hopes to make it to the U-13 team next year and represent her club.


She attends cricket camps during holidays at school, is a Sydney Sixers’ (BBL and WBBL teams) fan and reads Ellyse Perry’s books because she, like Perry, loves more than one sport. Cricket is a way of bonding with her friends, and that is an important reason she plays the game.


Her parents, Dad Dan, a former club cricketer and Mum Sandra, a PE teacher who played cricket in school, realised how gifted their daughter was, but also that she enjoyed playing the game and had fun while doing so.


Emily enjoys every bit of her time on the field.


This summer, that is the message Cricket NSW would like to send out, that cricket is fun and friendly, and it is more than just playing a sport – it is a blast.


Joanne Scanlon, General Manager – Community Cricket Experience, Cricket NSW, says, “A big part of our moving forward this season is keeping the players we have and bringing first-time players, particularly the 5-12-year-olds, and their families, to the sport with short, fast and fun cricket.” 


As for little Emily, she now plays matches for her club team with her friends, and sometimes fills in for her brother’s team where she fields, Will bowls, while her father acts as the umpire. That’s how she plans to spend her cricketing summer.