Australia’s Women T20 World Cup 2020 winner Alyssa Healy has urged the cash-strapped Cricket Australia (CA) not to scrap women’s domestic matches as part of cost-cutting measures this summer.
There could be a shorter domestic season for both men's and women's cricket in Australia this season as a possible way to lower costs with the CA working on maintaining the budget impacted by the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
It is being said that the Australian board could slash the women's matches in the domestic women competition – Marsh Sheffield Shield and the Women's Big Bash League (WBBL), as they are not lucrative as much as the men's cricket, but hosting them still burns a hole in CA’s pocket.
However, the board hasn’t finalized anything yet, but the star wicketkeeper-batter Healy has urged the CA to maintain its strong investment in women's cricket domestically, saying cutting games would be a real shame as it would not only lose the momentum following the record-breaking T20 World Cup this year but also jeopardize Australia's preparations for the 50-over World Cup to be held in February.
Though, Healy, a board director of the Australian Cricketers Association (ACA), admitted that some "adjustments" need to be made given the global crisis, but a shorter season isn't the answer.
Healy told The Unplayable Podcast: “(Playing less games) obviously doesn't sit great. We don't want to lose any cricket. It'd be a real shame. Especially the WBBL, it's such a great tournament for us and it's the bulk of the cricket we get to play. We don't get to play much 50-over cricket in our domestic competition and that's something that we as a playing group have been really pushing for in the last few years, that the WNCL competition is looked after.”
Australia’s Female ODI Player of the Year further added, “We don't want to lose any cricket. I don't feel our domestic players get to play enough as it is. We'll have to wait and see what sort of decisions are made. I know that it's not set in stone and there are some scheduling meetings coming up that the players are going to be involved in and will hopefully get to have their say on what the summer might look like.”
Healy, who recently won the Belinda Clark award, said investment in women's cricket must not be stopped due to the pandemic.
She signed off by saying, “It's such a shame that this (pandemic) has happened and we've potentially lost a bit of momentum, but I think we can pick that up pretty quickly once we get back rolling and (by) making sure we invest properly in the women's game and make sure it thrives in the future. People love watching the WBBL and we want to make sure that the product keeps going from strength to strength.”
(With PTI Inputs)