The final instalment in Cricket Australia’s (CA) biggest ever summer of cricket has been unveiled today with the release of the women’s domestic schedule for 2014-15.
Fans will have the opportunity to see the country’s best female players ply their trade on the big stage with eight double-header matches scheduled to be staged in conjunction with KFC T20 Big Bash League (KFC T20 BBL) matches around Australia, including the final at Manuka Oval on 28 January which will be broadcast live on Network Ten.
The competitions will follow a similar structure to previous seasons with a combination of 50-over and 20-over matches being played across each weekend round. Three WT20 matches will launch the women’s season on Friday 10 October with the Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL) beginning a day later on Saturday 11 October.
Each women’s domestic team will play six WNCL round matches and 12 WT20 round matches plus a bye round over the summer. The WNCL final will be played on Sunday 25 January and the WT20 final will follow on Wednesday 28 January and will be played as a double-header to the KFC T20 BBL final at Canberra’s Manuka Oval.
The WNCL and WT20 will continue to build its reputation as the leading domestic women’s competition in the world with a number of high quality international players taking part this coming season. Stars heading to Australia include England captain Charlotte Edwards and her national teammates Heather Knight and Sarah Taylor as well as New Zealand captain Suzie Bates and her teammates Sophie Devine and Nicola Browne.
Full WNCL fixtures can be found here
Full WT20 fixtures can be found here
The women’s domestic schedule will complement a big summer of cricket for the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars, which host the West Indies in a Series in November consisting of four One Day Internationals (ODIs) and four Women’s T20s (WT20 INTL). It is expected to be a hotly contested series as the two finalists from the 2013 ICC Women’s World Cup meet in three matches offering points for qualification for the next 50-over World Cup as part of the ICC Women’s Championship.
ABC Grandstand, which has been a long-time supporter of women’s cricket will continue its coverage this summer with ball-by-ball commentary of the four WT20 INTL matches against Pakistan and the three double-header WT20 INTL matches against West Indies.
Cricket Australia Chief Executive James Sutherland said: “As we work to make cricket Australia’s favourite sport and a sport for all Australians, we’re thrilled that more and more females are getting involved with the game. No doubt our elite players across the country will continue to inspire more females to pick up a bat and ball.
“Our elite women’s competitions are a great showcase of the wonderful cricket talent we have across the country.”
The release of the women’s domestic schedule coincides with PlayCricket Week, CA’s annual participation campaign which marks the start of the club registration period for the summer ahead. Participation figures released by CA earlier this week indicate a 39 per cent increase in female participation in cricket in 2013-14, bringing the total number for 2013-14 up to 247,000 players. Cricket is now more popular than ever among females, who make up 22 per cent of total cricket participants.
People interested in playing cricket can go to playcricket.com.au to find out more about the sport and how they can get involved. PlayCricket Week is about inspiring all Australians to play the game, no matter who you are, where you’ve come from or whether you’ve ever picked up a bat or ball. For more information visit playcricket.com.au