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Why women’s cricket is rising in popularity

With females now making up 30 per cent of cricket participants in Australia, it’s the code’s long-term goal to be Australia’s leading sport for women and girls.

SACA Board Member, former South Australian captain in the early 1990s, and title winning Scorpions Women’s National Cricket League coach in 2015-16, Andrea McCauley has seen the staggering growth in women’s cricket over the past decade.

“Firstly, the product has to be good enough to watch and you need the kind of athlete and coaching structures to ensure this happens,” says McCauley.

“The Women’s Big Bash and Cricket Australia’s commitment to back the women’s game in this form has been a huge key.

“Now the younger generation can watch players like Ellyse Perry, Alyssa Healy, Sophie Devine, Megan Schutt, Suzie Bates and Tahlia McGrath as role models to aspire to.

“We’re also starting to see the initial group have an impact on women’s cricket as well.”

In the current Strikers squad is a 17-year-old fast bowler from Kapunda, Darcie Brown, who is still doing her Year 12 exams whilst in the Sydney Big Bash bubble. 

The young quick has already played SA State League netball and was an accomplished Junior state Aussie Rules footballer.

Over a year ago, she was clocked bowling a ball at 116 kph and has only become stronger since then.

“I’m grateful to be a part of the change,” says McCauley, who is the inaugural Strikers Women’s coach six seasons back.

“The Australian girls are current world champions and we’re on a winner.

“It’s the old adage, you can’t enjoy what you don’t know about, and the promotion of the women’s game at Big Bash level has ensured we have a product the girls of the following generations will want to play.”

The Australian Cricket Census showed in 2018/19, registered female participation grew by 14 per cent, including a mammoth 873 new girls’ teams taking the field.

With females now making up 30 per cent of cricket participants in Australia, it’s the code’s long-term goal to be Australia’s leading sport for women and girls.

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