CSA celebrates landmark moment in women's cricket
Cricket South Africa (CSA) has officially launched the Professional Domestic Women's League with a momentous event as leading figures of women’s cricket from across the country gathered at Freedom Park in Tshwane on Tuesday.
The new structure comes after the immense success of the Proteas Women in the last ICC Women’s World Cup 2022 hosted in New Zealand and the ICC T20 Women’s World Cup 2023 held on home soil, where they reached the semifinals and final, respectively. It was at the latter tournament where Proteas Women were dubbed ‘History Makers’, as the first senior national cricket team to reach the final of an ICC World Cup.
South Africa also hosted the inaugural ICC U19 Women’s T20 World Cup in January 2023 where the SA U19 team narrowly missed out on a spot in the semifinals, after an exhilarating super 6 stage.
Rooted in local essence through the best domestic talents South Africa has to offer, as well as the enhanced coaching and medical departments, the new structure is a testament to the developing endeavours in the sport set out by CSA, with the help of the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture’s (DSAC) investment of R15 million over three years.
The CSA Professional Domestic Women’s League comprises of two main tournaments; the CSA Women’s One-Day Cup and CSA Women’s T20 Challenge and seeks to revolutionise the way women's cricket is perceived and celebrated.
The women's structure is set to undergo significant changes. The number of permanent contracts in the 'Top Six' Division 1 will be raised from six to 11 players per team. Additionally, there will be an improved and permanent coaching setup consisting of a head coach and an assistant coach as well as a centralized system for physiotherapists and strength and conditioning coaches attending to each team.
To further boost motivation among players and competing teams in the first division, which includes the 2022/23 T20 and 50-over champions DP World Lions and Six Gun Grill Western Province, along with the Fidelity Titans, Hollywoodbets Dolphins, Six Gun Grill Garden Route Badgers, and newcomers Free State, CSA has introduced a combined prize money pot for the respective winners of the upcoming campaign.
CSA Chief Executive Officer, Pholetsi Moseki, said;
"We are thrilled to unveil the Professional Women's Cricket League, an initiative that celebrates the remarkable achievements of our national women's cricket team and paves the way for an even brighter future.
“The professionalisation of the women’s domestic structure aims to elevate the women's cricketing landscape by providing a platform for local talent to shine, fostering a culture of sporting excellence, while inspiring the next generation of players.
"With the success of South African cricket on the global stage, we believe that this will be a steppingstone for local talent, creating an environment that fosters growth, resilience, and a deep love for the sport."
“Professionalising the women’s domestic structure has been met with enthusiasm from fans, players, and sponsors alike. We call on brands to continue showing their support for women's cricket, recognising the league's potential to redefine the narrative around women in sports in the country,” concluded Moseki.