New Comp To Boost Chances

Queensland Country, Youth, Indigenous and Premier Cricket players will be the big winners from today’s confirmation by Cricket Australia that a new second tier national women's T20 competition will be introduced this season.

The standalone competition will feature teams representing the eight WBBL teams as well as a team representing the ACT, and be used as a build-up to the Weber Women’s Big Bash League.

The competition will precede the WBBL season with the teams playing four matches in two locations. The four top teams at the end of the regular season will play off in the semi-finals and final.

While details are being finalised, the intent of the new competition will create playing opportunities for female players from outside the current WBBL Heat and Queensland Fire squads.

The Queensland Country Brolgas team won the Australian Country championships earlier this year while the Queensland Women’s Indigenous team won the National title last year and finished as runners-up this season. The Queensland Indigenous squad was able to train with the WBBL Heat team during WBBL|09 and be presented to the crowd for the First Nations Round WBBL match at Allan Border Field (pictured above).

Premier Cricket players such as two-time Kath Smith Medallist Ruby Strange (Wests), Queensland Indigenous spinners Clodagh Ryall (Wynnum-Manly) and Christina Coulson (Valley) and Brolgas batter Grace Abdy (Cloncurry) and allrounder Tarah Staines (Monto) will be among the players to potentially benefit from the creation of the new competition.

The new competition comes as the WBBL season is shortened to 40 games plus three finals to optimise scheduling and significantly increase payments.

The inception of the new competition means the average payment for state contracted players will rise to $163,000 making women’s cricket easily the best paid women’s domestic team sport in Australia.

This comes after significant increases in CA women’s contracts (increased by 25%) and the WBBL salary cap (doubled to more than $732,000 per-season) in the latest MOU.

The new competition will also create more exposure for women’s cricket and move domestic players closer to full-time athletes as Australian Cricket looks to grow women and girls’ participation and capitalise on commercial opportunities as part of its recently released Women and Girls Action Plan.

State contracting is now open with the 2024-25 Queensland Fire squad set to be announced in due course.

Nick Hockley, CA Chief Executive said:

“We are pleased to announce a new domestic T20 competition that will create more opportunities for elite female domestic players, while also complementing the optimised Weber WBBL schedule.

“Importantly this competition will increase payments to many players and take women’s domestic cricket a step further toward full time professionalism.

“Elite domestic cricket is the backbone of Australian Cricket’s ongoing success, and this competition will allow more domestic players the opportunity to gain top level experience and showcase their talents.”

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