Let women play in Big Bash, says Waugh

Last updated 12:49 30/03/2013
Ellyse Perry
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WAUGH BACKS WOMEN: Steve Waugh said it was time to consider adding one female player to each Big Bash League T20 team's roster.

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Former Test skipper Steve Waugh said it was time to consider adding one female player to each Big Bash League T20 team's roster based on the success – and ability - of Australia's elite women's cricketers.

Waugh admitted the idea might seem to some as “out there” but, to the enthusiastic applause of members of the champion NSW Breakers women's team, he nevertheless suggested allowing for the likes of Alex Blackwell, who was presented with the Belinda Clark Medal as the state's best female cricketer on Thursday, fast bowler Ellyse Perry and wicket keeper Alyssa Healy, the opportunity to match it with the men in the modified version of the game.

“I think it's about time where we could have one female player per Big Bash side,” Waugh said. “Going forward, I can't see why the girls can't have representation in the Big Bash.

“It's a bit out there, that thought, but I think it might be time.”

There was a similar suggestion in 1994 after Western Australia's Zoe Goss scored 29 in a charity game at the Sydney Cricket Ground, a match which included Greg Chappell, Dennis Lillee, Jeff Thomson, Sunil Gavaskar, David Hookes, David Gower, Michael Holding, Joel Garner, Barry Richards and Graeme Pollock.

However, her effort to dismiss West Indies great Brian Lara for 23, who, before the Bradman XI-World XI game had completed the year of his life with a Test and first-class record score of 375 against England and 501 for Warwickshire in English county, struck a blow for every female cricketer around the world.

Goss had Lara caught behind – and stumped, for good measure - by wicket-keeper Steve Rixon and her success was the catalyst for the organisers of the ING Cup to consider including a female to each state's one day team.

However, the plan was eventually scuttled because the idea of a woman facing up to Brett Lee's express deliveries was considered too great a risk.

Blackwell, later described Waugh's view as “wonderful” because it proved women's cricket had earned respect.

The NSW skipper, ranked among the world's best players, said there was no doubt Australia's top female cricketers would welcome the challenge to play in the Big Bash League.

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- Sydney Morning Herald

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