Monday, 24 April 2017

Aussies announce 13 contracts

Cricket Australia have today announced the names of 13 women to whom they will offer Southern Stars contracts for 2016/2017. However the terms of those contracts are still being discussed, with CA keen to move away from the revenue sharing method that has served them so well for nearly 20 years. With the ACA (the players' union) and the players themselves, adamant that the next Memorandum of Understanding continues to pay CA players at all levels on a revenue sharing basis, it looks as though CA will either have to back down or face the consequences. With the Champions Trophy, for the men, and the Women's World Cup, for the women, just around the corner it is not ideal timing, but there are big money television contracts about to be negotiated by CA.

Thirteen Southern Stars is a reduction of two from the 2015/2016 list, with Renee Farrell, Holly Ferling, Grace Harris and Erin Osborne all losing their contracts, and only teenage leggie Amanda-Jade Wellington and 30 year old Rachel Haynes added to the list, winning back a contract she last held four years ago.

Presumably these 13 players will form the basis of Australia's 15 player squad for the WWC17 which gets underway two months from today.

The 13 Southern Stars contracted players are

Kristen Beams
Alex Blackwell
Nicole Bolton
Lauren Cheatle
Rachel Haynes
Alysa Healy
Jess Jonassen
Meg Lnning
Beth Mooney
Ellyse Perry
Megan Schutt
Elyse Villani
Amanda-Jade Wellington


Thursday, 16 March 2017

Money and Women's Cricket

MONEY - it's almost a dirty word in sport, but the trouble is there is an awful lot of it floating around, and everybody wants their share. Last year, for example, the ECB turned over nearly £134M, which was, in fact, down from the previous year of £175M.

In Australia they would normally be announcing their 20 centrally contracted male players about now (with the women named a month later), but no announcement will be made for at least a month as pay talks between Cricket Australia (their equivalent of the ECB) and the Australian Cricket Association (the players' union - here we have the Professional Cricketers Association) are currently in deadlock.

CA and the ACA have to agree a Memorandum of Understanding, which sets out how all players are paid. For the past 20 years this has been by way of a revenue-sharing method, which has seen the centrally contracted men earn in excess of $1M (AUD), and has also included all state players and latterly women players. If Australian cricket is successful then they get paid more. But now CA wants to move away from this model for all but the international men. State players and women (including the international women) would not share in CA's revenue, but would have their salaries decided by CA. The ACA however is holding out for a MOU which covers all players, male and female, and retains the current revenue sharing model.

Women cricketers in Australia are already better paid and better represented than their counterparts here in the UK. All 120 female players who have either a Southern Stars contract (min $40,000); state contract (min $11,000) or a WBBL contract (min $7,000) are represented by the ACA. Here in England only the 18 current centrally contracted England players are members of the PCA. County players have no contracts and are paid nothing, and those who played in the KSL last year were paid match fees only if they played, with the winners and runners-up sharing prize money between the 15 strong player squads. Whilst neither group are members of the PCA, the PCA have confirmed that they have been working with the ECB on behalf of the KSL players, and that contract payments will be made to all KSL players this year.

Back in Australia the current Aussie MOU expires at the end of June, which means that there are going to be some feverish negotiations over the coming few weeks. Whether CA can convince the ACA that it should agree to the change in the model looks doubtful at the moment, but if a deal can be reached then it is likely that there could be some significant increases in pay for women cricketers in Australia, reflecting the increased profile for the game and the success of the WBBL, in terms of television audiences, if not in actual paying spectators*, **.

With the WWC17 looming CA will be keen to get their 2017 list of Southern Stars contracted players finalised sooner rather than later. Currently there are 15 players on Southern Stars contracts - Blackwell, Beams, Bolton, Cheatle, Farrell, Ferling, Healy, Harris, Jonassen, Lanning, Mooney, Osborne, Perry, Schutt, and Villani. It would be surprising if Harris and Osborne retain their contracts, and there has to be some doubt about Ferling. Likely to be added to the list will be Ash Gardner and Amanda-Jade Wellington, who have forced their way into the squad in recent months. Others also likely to be on the CA radar are Sophie Molineux and Molly Strano. For those that lose their Southern Stars contract it will be a blow, but with state contracts and WBBL contracts, plus some states (NSW) already making up state contracts to the Aussie minimum wage ($35,000), it is not as catstrophic as it would be to an England player, who has no county contract to fall back on.

These are early days in the world of professional women's cricket, and, whilst huge steps have been taken over the past few years, it is still a precarious existence for many players.

* Cricket Australia have now tabled an offer to the ACA which includes some huge increases in pay for all women cricketers in Australia (see here), but seems to omit any revenue sharing for most players. The ACA's response has been muted, stating that they need to take a look at the fine print of the offer.

** Southern Stars contracted players Alex Blackwell (link to radio interview) and Erin Osborne (link to SMH interview) have both confirmed that the women want to be part of the MOU, but also part of the revenue sharing model. In other words the current offer on the table from CA would not be acceptable.


Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Day Night Test included in Women's Ashes

The ECB and Cricket Australia have announced the dates and venues for the Commonwealth Bank Women's Ashes Series in Australia, starting on 22nd October in Brisbane, with the first of three ODIs. These will be followed by the sole Test Match, and then three T20s. All the games will count towards the multi-format series.

The second two ODI games will be played at Coffs Harbour. And from there the teams will move south to the North Sydney Oval for the first ever women's Day/Night Test, starting on 9th November.

The teams will then play the first of three T20 games at the same ground, before heading inland to the Manuka Oval in Canberra to complete the series, with T20s on the 19th and 20th November.

Full match schedule

22nd October - ODI 1 - AB Field, Brisbane

26th October - ODI 2 - Coffs Harbour International Stadium

29th October ODI 3 - Coffs Harbour International Stadium

9th - 12th November - Day/Night Test - North Sydney Oval

17th November - T20 1 - North Sydney Oval

19th November T20 2 - Manuka Oval, Canberra

21 November T20 3 - Manuka Oval, Canberra


Friday, 24 February 2017

B3 Custom Bat Competition

We have teamed up with our friends at B3 Cricket to give you the chance to win the perfect cricket bat - handmade especially for you!

What makes the perfect bat?

It is a question that many have pondered, but few, if any, have been able to answer. It is all to do with weight, feel, grain, pick-up, middle, density, handle, shape, profile, grip, ping… the list goes on and on. The truth is that every bat is different. Wood is a natural product and no two clefts are ever the same.

Clefts? A cleft is the rough piece of wood that will form the blade of the cricket bat once it has been pressed and shaped. The clefts are cut from English willow and dried, before they are delivered to the clever guys at B3. The density of each cleft is measured. The more dense (ie the more compact) the cleft the heavier it will generally be.

So picking the right cleft to make your bat from is crucial, and if you are female it is even more important as weight is a vital factor in making the perfect woman's or girl’s bat. Most girls are not as tall as men, or as strong, which means they will generally need a lighter bat. But that does not mean that their bat will be inferior or that the ball will not ping off the middle. It just means you have to get the right density cleft; hand-press it carefully to compress it; and then shape it to suit the way that you bat. 

Some people have a tendency to hit the ball higher or lower on the bat than others. If you prefer to play on the front foot then you probably hit the ball lower on the bat more often than not. If you are a back foot player then you probably hit the ball higher up the bat. By adjusting the shape of the bat and the thickness of the blade you can adjust the height and area of the sweet spot on the bat – the rather inappropriately named “middle”.

It follows therefore that if you go to a shop you could pick up a hundred cricket bats and none of them would be right for you. The answer is to make a bespoke bat – perfectly tailored for your height, weight, and style of play. That is exactly what B3 cricket can do for you. And they are experts in making bats for women. 

Some of the rising stars of English women’s cricket are looked after by B3 – such as Lancashire Thunder's Emma Lamb.... 
Emma Lamb

"B3 bats are excellent quality and well manufactured. The service provided by B3 is second to none. Great bat, great service"
Emma Lamb

Freya Davies (c) Don Miles

and Sussex and Western Storm’s Freya Davies...

"Nothing is too much trouble for the guys at B3. You can tell that they are cricketers themselves. They take pride in providing you with the perfect bat".
Freya Davies

plus Warwickshire skipper Marie Kelly...
Marie Kelly (C) Don Miles

"B3 offer a quite unique service for cricketers at all levels. They combine the latest technology with the personal touch. They, and their bats, are top quality" Marie Kelly

And we would like to offer all you female players the chance to have a bespoke B3 cricket bat made especially for you, by the dedicated and very talented guys at B3. 

You can pick your own cleft, decide on the size and shape of your bat, and even be there to see it being made. Plus you can choose from a huge range of bat stickers and grips, so that your bat is perfect for you. You will be the envy of all your team-mates.


A winner will be picked at random after the closing date on 21st March 2017. Good Luck!!!


Sunday, 19 February 2017

WWCQT - Super Six - Round 3 Results

Comfortable wins for India, South Africa and Sri Lanka mean that the four qualifiers for the Women's World Cup in June are India, South Africa, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

India and South Africa will contest the final of this WWCQT.

Final Round Results

Pakistan 67 all out (Bisht 5/8)
India 70/3
Scorecard here

Ireland 166 all out (Waldron 33*)
South Africa 82/1 (won on D/L (47))
Scorecard here

Sri Lanka 197/9 (50 overs) (Jayangani 84, Khatun 3/18)
Bangladesh 68/6 (SL won by 42 runs on D/L)
Scorecard here

Final Super Six Standings


Friday, 17 February 2017

WWCQT - Super Six - Round 2 Results

India and South Africa have qualified for the World Cup in June thanks to convincing 9 wicket wins over Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, respectively.

Pakistan have kept their qualification on track, alongside Sri Lanka, with a crushing win over Ireland, who can no longer qualify. Sri Lanka play Bangladesh in their last game, and even if they lose will almost certainly go through over Bangladesh on NRR, barring a calamitous result.

With just one round of games to be played the table looks like this.


Bangladesh 155/8 (50 overs) (Hoque 50, Joshi 3/25)
India 158/1 (Meshram 78*, Raj 73*)
Scorecard here

Sri Lanka 142/9 (50 overs) (Hansika 48, Luus 3/40)
South Africa 145/1 (Woolvaardt 50*, Luus 50*)
Scorecard here

Pakistan 271/5 (50 overs) (J Khan 90*, N Khan 72*)
Ireland 185 all out (C Joyce 41, Sandhu 2/25, Yousuf 2/45)
Scorecard here

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

WWCQT - Super 6s - Round 1 Results

The first of the three rounds of the Super 6 stage of the competition has been completed, and India have taken a firm grip on being the first team to qualify for the World Cup, with a thumping 49 run win over closest rivals South Africa.

Sri Lanka have also given themselves a decent chance of making the trip to England with a hard fought win over Pakistan, which means that Pakistan and Bangladesh, who overcame a lacklustre Ireland, are probably fighting it out for the fourth place.

This is how the table currently looks, plus the games still to be played...


India 205/8 (50 overs) (Raj 64, Meshram 55, Kapp 2/23)
South Africa 156 all out (Chetty 52, Pandey 4/34)
Scorecard here

Ireland 144 all out (Shillington 37, Delany 37, Alam 3/21)
Bangladesh 145/3 (Akhter 52, Hoque 34*)
Scorecard here

Pakistan 212/7 (50 overs) (N Khan 64, J Khan 63, Ranaweera 2/33)
Sri Lanka 216/5 (Kaushalya 65*, Weerakkody 45, Fatima 2/28)