Cricket Australia has taken a historic decision announcing a $4 million of investment to unearth the women cricket talent in the country over the next four years. The project will help Australia to get rid of talent dearth.

The governing body of cricket in Australia decided to distribute this money to the club, schools and cricket associations who want to commence women cricket teams, while the other half of the money will go to the professional sports people who will work on the program.

CA CEO James Sutherland said the governing body of Australian cricket wants to provide opportunities for girls to play in all the girl teams if they wished to do so, rather than being forced to play with the boys.

Sutherland said the inaugural AFL women’s competition will be launched next year, but a domestic cricket competition for women is running on for a decade.

“There’s a lot happening in women’s sport around the country at the moment, there’s been a whole lot of announcements about what different sports are doing,” he said.

But it’s a good time to remind everyone that we’ve had a national competition for women in cricket for over 70 years now in Australia. We think we can co-exist with other sports, but we do want to be a sport of choice. We’re really proud of the history that cricket has with women.

Sutherland, who has his own daughter playing in the boy’s side, said his goal is to make women’s team in a different phase of cricket and funding them.

It is an important point … where we want to get to with women’s cricket and girls’ cricket is having opportunities where there are enough girls to make up a team and girls feel really comfortable in the cricket environment,” he said.

That’s where these new competitions and the approach that clubs take to provide opportunities for girls and make them feel comfortable in that environment … is where we’re going to take the next step as a sport for all.”

The Australian women team is known as Southern Stars. One of the Southern Stars fast bowler, Holly Ferling, recently said that when she started playing the game in rural Queensland, she was not even aware of the Australian National Women cricket team.

Ferling in his A Grade cricket debut in the men’s competition as a 14-year-old, bowled a hat-trick with her first three balls.

She enjoyed playing with the boys and men’s cricket teams, but she could understand why some girls and women would find joining male team more intimidating.

I enjoyed it, it was a challenge – always a challenge,” she said. “That was the one thing that kept us coming back. It was always good bowling out the boys.

But I can completely understand why it can be quite scary, coming into a boys’ or a men’s team.

Ferling said she has observed that a major change in women cricket in Australia has happened.

I went from not knowing that girls played cricket to going along to clinics and girls saying they want to play for the Southern Stars and the Brisbane Heat,” she said.

Current Australian wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy, who got married to speed star Mitchell Starc, said as a child she would play with boys each Saturday and Sunday, but would have jumped at the chance to be involved in a girls’ team.

Healy also said funding would allow girls to choose in girls’ or boys’ teams, or both.

You could go and play in a girls’ team on Sunday with 10 of your best mates then play boys’ cricket on Saturday if you love cricket that much,” she said.

Cricket Australia launched its women Big Bash League last summer, a competition that received more views than A League.

 

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