In March of this year, when the Australian team was crowned the ICC Women's T20 World Cup Champions, the benefits which have flowed from Australian cricket’s clear focus on the development of woman’s cricket were clear. It also provided powerful impetus for an ongoing commitment by all of cricket to ensure that our game is a game for all. That momentous occasion was the result of an enormous amount of work over a long period of time - both on and off the field.

At a meeting on Thursday 19 November, the Australian Cricket Council (ACC) strongly supported the direction provided by a report on the women’s game developed by the Australian Cricketers’ Association.

Continuing to Lead: Charting the path to professionalism for Australian women’s cricket provides an update on the current status of gender equity and highlights that while so much has been achieved to date, there are many opportunities for further progress within the women’s game. The report identifies issues which remain to be addressed, as well as providing the research, evidence and recommendations (16 in total) to help smooth the path to professionalism and ensure that cricket in Australia continues to set the standard for women’s sport.

ICC Hall of Famer and ACA Board Member Lisa Sthalekar said that the support and endorsement of the ACC will drive further progress for the game in Australia.

“The engagement of the ACC in not only the report, but in women’s cricket more broadly, was extremely positive and bodes well for the continued progression of the game’s professionalism,” she said.

“In sport it can sometimes be easy to rest on your laurels, but everyone involved in the ACC understands there is still work to be done and that many opportunities exist to grow the game even more. There is a real and practical determination for cricket to continue to lead women’s sport in Australia.”

The ACC agreed that it is crucial for Australian cricket to continue to lead women’s sport. While so much great work has been done, the game cannot rest on what has been achieved – there is still significant work to do before we can genuinely claim gender equity at a practical level.

The ACC’s leaders will continue to support Cricket Australia, the State Associations and the ACA in their cooperative efforts to provide a clear path forward to professionalism of the women’s game, maintaining the public goodwill and building on the momentum so evident in March in front of more than 86,000 people at the MCG.