England’s Women’s bowling all-rounder cricketer, Charlotte Taylor is a brilliant bowler pushing for equal opportunities and income for women’s and men’s cricket in her country.
Zushan Hashmi: Tell us a little bit about yourself, how you got into the game and what has kept your passion for it alive?
Charlotte Taylor: I was born into a cricketing family. My dad and uncle played at a high level and most of my dads side of the family is involved in cricket some way or another. My passion comes from wanting to continuously improve. I have taken huge steps over the last 2 years and want to keep performing to the highest level I can.
Coming from a cricketing family, is cricket a part of your family hang outs and conversations? Can you tell me a little bit about that?
Yes it’s an ongoing joke that we cannot have a conversation without mentioning cricket, especially between me and my dad. Weekends as a kid were spent in the nets with the other boys watching their dads play on a Saturday.
And what has been the highlight of your career since?
The highlight of my career is the 6 wickets that I took in the Rachel Heyhoe final back in 2020.
I wasn’t expecting to play in the tournament, let alone finish as the leading wicket taker and taking 6 in the final. It was unbelievable. However, playing in the Southern Brave and getting to play with and against some of the worlds greatest is a fantastic experience in itself!
Injuries are always a challenge for any athlete, even more so when they are something as serious as a cruciate ligament tear. In your case, when you injured yourself, what were some of the things going through your head? How did you overcome the mental side of things alongside the physical side of things?
That injury was the toughest moment of my life. Cricket gives me a real sense of purpose, it’s where my friends are. When I was ruled out for almost 2 years, I felt like those things were taken as well. I tried to keep myself busy away from the game. Ultimately I had to work hard to keep myself focused on the baby steps. Through the experience, I found other things that I enjoyed doing, away from the game as well.
What was the process like of focusing more on your bowling and switching to become a bowling all-rounder?
When I returned to the Hampshire team, they had just won the County Championship in 2018, so I was trying to get back into a very strong side. I looked at the batting line up and it was very strong, and I thought that there was a gap in the team for my bowling and so I decided to focus on that.
To make a living, what do you do outside of the sport? Do you think this is different between men’s and women’s list A players?
Outside of cricket, I work in Aerospace as a Customer Support Coordinator for US and Canadian customers.
As a non contracted cricketer, I have to have a full time job to source income. On the other hand, List A men’s cricketers do not have to do this. There is still work to be done to get both men and women the same opportunity to earn a living through domestic cricket.
Is it beginning to change though? (i.e. are women provided more opportunities now than in the past?)
Yes, it is beginning to change with the Hundred having equal prize money for both the winning men’s and women’s sides. Our games are also being broadcast, but these are still small pieces of a much bigger picture.