With Australia’s Women’s World Cup on the horizon, the country is once again considering its next step in female development.
The nation has never fielded a women’s team in an official international tournament, but the sport has seen a surge in popularity and growth.
In 2014, there were fewer than 500 women’s players, compared to 2.2 million players in 2012.
The sport has also seen a resurgence in women’s international cricket, with the Women’s Cricket Association of Australia (WCA) currently fielding four teams at the WCA Women’s Cup.
The WCA has also announced that the Australian women will field a women-only side for the 2019 World Cup in Bangladesh, with a two-day tournament in the middle of the summer.
As part of its Women’s Development Program, the WBC has created the Women in Cricket Program, which aims to increase participation in women-specific cricket programs.
The program, which is open to all Australian players, is designed to help all teams with their women-centric programs.
“Our priority for the WDC is to support the growth and development of all women’s teams in the sport,” WBC Director-General Michael Gove told ESPNcricinfo.
“The WCA is committed to increasing the participation of women in all aspects of the sport.
The programme, which has already seen over 50 women players come through, will expand to include all Australian women players by the end of 2019.”
Gove added that the WCC would also encourage female coaches to work with women to develop the skills they need to compete at the highest level.
“We believe that the best way to get women to the highest levels is through developing them,” he said.
“If you’re a coach and you’re not a good coach, then you can’t do it.
We’re really looking to see if we can get the best coaches to come to the WICB and work with us and see what we can do to support that.”
WBC women’s coach of the year, Hannah O’Connor, was one of several Australian coaches to sign up for the program.
“It’s great that there’s been such a strong interest from Australian coaches and women in working with us,” she said.
The Australian women, who won a World Cup last year, have also had success in the Women In Cricket Program.
“I think that the programme has been fantastic, it’s really helped them grow,” said O’Leary.
“They’ve gone through the same thing as us, and we’ve helped them develop the same skills and have been able to compete with them in a better way.”
The WBC is currently working on an expansion program for women’s national cricket, which will see women play alongside men at tournaments across Australia.
“WBC Women in Development Program will be a pathway to development in all phases of the game for the sport of women’s sports in Australia,” Gove said.
“Our aim is to make the WLC Women’s team the highest performing team in women sport.
Our Women in Sport program will help to support all teams in their efforts to build a competitive women’s side in the WCL.”
The Australian Women’s cricket team is now on track to make its first World Cup appearance at the Women International Cricket League (WICL) World Cup 2019 in the UAE later this month.