With so many females now playing cricket, the West Australian Cricket Association (WACA) has made significant improvements to its talent pathway to ensure young female cricketers have a clear vision to the elite level.

The talent pathway has seen players like 15-year-old Molly Healy make it to the national stage, after she was recently selected in the Cricket Australia (CA) XI to compete at the CA Under 18 National Championships in Ballarat and Bendigo (Jan 14-24).

Selected by the CA Youth Selection Panel, the XI features some of Australia’s most talented under 15 cricketers who will compete against more experienced players with state and Big Bash contracts.

WACA Talent Development Manager Liz Chetkovich said there has been a major focus on bridging the gap between community and senior cricket.

“This year we launched the Premier Cricket Youth League for players under 17 to ease the transition between community cricket and senior A and B grade,” Chetkovich said.

“Our Community Cricket department has done an enormous job over the last few years to increase numbers in our Perth Scorchers Girls League, so now the emphasis has shifted to preparing those players to play at the top level.

Ms Chetkovich said the under 18 National Championships will be a great opportunity for Healy to benchmark herself against the best players in the country.

“Molly will learn a lot from rubbing her shoulders with some of the best young talent in Australia,” she said.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing how we go and how Molly goes for the CA XI to see who puts their hand up for rookie spots with the Fury and Scorchers.”

Healy, from South Perth Cricket Club, will face her home state on day one of the championships.

Keep up to date with all the fixtures and results at www.nationalchamps.com.au/ .

Western Australia: Zoe Britcliffe, Charlotte Cooke, Emma Davidson, Georgie Ireland, Ashlee King, Emma Meuleman, Millie Monaghan, Jacqui Naidoo, Gorgia Platten, Olivia Purnell, Samantha Quadrio, Poppy Stockwell, Soniya Yadav.

Cricket Australia XI: Jade Allen (NSW Metro), Kayla Burton (ACT/NSW Country), Grace Dignam (ACT/NSW Country), Georgia Gall (VIC Country), Molly Godsell (NSW Metro), Isabella Greig (ACT/NSW Country), Ella Hayward (VIC Metro), Molly Healy (Western Australia), Emily Hinze (South Australia), Ruth Johnston (Queensland), Phoebe Litchfield (ACT/NSW Country), Arnika McGregor (VIC Country), Kate Peterson (NSW Metro), Georgia Voll (Queensland).