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Women’s cricket is go

Thursday, 2nd February, 2017

By Tyler Hannigan

The Barrier District Cricket League is pushing for two women’s matches to act as curtain raisers for the annual ‘Pink Stumps’ round of cricket in just over two weeks.

The decision was made at the January cricket league meeting and clubs were tasked with finding women who are interested in playing to take part in that match.

“(We are) looking at the possibility of conducting a women’s Super 8s or T20 game as a curtain raiser to Pink Stumps weekend on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th of February,” BDCL president Peter Johnston said.

“The League will also hold a function to raise funds for the McGrath Foundation on the Saturday night. 

“This is seen as a trial to gauge interest in getting a limited women’s competition up and running next season.”

A function, likely to be held at the Tydvil Hotel on the Saturday night, will be used to raise funds for breast cancer research. 

Johnston said that the seemingly short notice given to clubs was due to some doubt over the pink stumps round but that it was mentioned earlier in the season.

“This (the women’s matches) was mentioned at the AGM but there was some doubt surrounding registration for pink stumps day,” he said.

“And also the clubs were required to report back in regards interest amongst the girls. 

“I think you will find that the women footballers will be keen to have a go.”

The league last staged a women’s exhibition in 2007 as a curtain raiser to that year’s men’s grand final.

The BDCL will be hoping to replicate the success of Broken Hill AFL’s women’s competition that began in 2012 and has gone from strength to strength ever since, injecting much needed funds and player numbers to the local clubs.

Nearby in Sunraysia, they have a thriving women’s competition with nine teams participating. Broken Hill-born Makinley Blows played in that competition and now plays for the Victorian Spirit and Melbourne Stars.

One of Broken Hill’s best sporting exports is Samantha Betts who has played cricket for South Australia, the Adelaide Strikers in the WBBL and was selected in an Australian development squad.

Betts was taught the game by her father who built a cricket net in the backyard of their home and played in the boy’s competition whilst in Broken Hill before moving to Adelaide to further her career.

Sisters Katie and Natalie Letcher currently play for North Broken Hill in the junior competition and have recently represented Western Zone in a junior girls cricket carnival held in Orange earlier this year.

Women’s cricket has enjoyed a boom period over the last few years due to the success of Australia’s national team, the Southern Stars, with players such as Ellyse Perry and Meg Lanning among the best in the world while the Women’s Big Bash League recently completed its second season.

Cricket has become an increasingly attractive career for female sportswomen with the NSW Breakers becoming the first fully-professional women’s sports team in the country in October last year. International players in that squad have the opportunity to earn in excess of $100,000 a year while the minimum wage is $35,000.

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