This article was first written for and published by the Roar.
For the first time in several years cricketers participating in the WBBL had a welcome break over Christmas.
In previous years the WBBL has coincided with the BBL and run over Christmas. This year, with the first-ever standalone tournament, the competition concluded in early December and meant that for our Australian women’s cricket team in particular there was some well-deserved downtime over Christmas after a very busy and successful 2019.
The relaxation is over now, though, because the Women’s National Cricket League returned this week and will continue into next week.
There have been some significant moments from the opening few games – Elyse Villani scoring 99 for Victoria in their win against Western Australia on Tuesday and continuing to push her case for selection in the World Cup squad, the return of Sophie Molineaux to cricket after a break from the game to take care of her mental health, Sammy Jo-Johnson scoring 40 not out from 26 deliveries and taking two wickets and also the debut of Ellyse Perry for Victoria. Seeing Perry play for Victoria is going to take some getting used to.
But, most importantly, it’s so obvious how bright the future of women’s cricket is. There were several debutants, including Darcie Brown, who made her state debut for the South Australia Scorpions, and also Stella Campbell, who was presented with her baggy blue by Alyssa Healy. Additionally, 16-year-old Hayley Silver-Holmes claimed 3-18 from eight overs in the Breakers’ 87-run win over Queensland. Annabel Sutherland was also impressive for Victoria, scoring 47 runs and taking 3-21 in their 117 run win over Western Australia.
The only disappointing thing was that in most cases there was no live stream of these games available. That left plenty of fans wanting, especially after so much women’s cricket to enjoy over the summer. Credit to Cricket NSW, who do provide a live stream and commentary of the NSW Breakers home games. Hopefully other clubs follow suit in coming years.