Cricket South Africa this week officially launched the Professional Domestic Women’s League, which holds several benefits for players and teams.
This on the back of the success of the Proteas Women in the last ICC Women’s World Cup in 2022 hosted in New Zealand, and the ICC T20 Women’s World Cup 2023 held on home soil, where they reached the semi-finals 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 semi-finals, after an exhilarating super 6 stage.
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
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, CSA has introduced a combined prize money pot for the respective winners of the upcoming campaign.
✅ Permanent contracts increased from 6 to 11 players per team
✅ Permanent coaching setup
✅ Centralized physiotherapists and S&C coaches
✅ Combined prize pot for tournament winners#CSAWomensLeague #BePartOfIt pic.twitter.com/MMgdqzUHsn
— Proteas Women (@ProteasWomenCSA) August 23, 2023
Teams in the first division 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 Chief Executive Officer, Pholetsi Moseki, said they are thrilled to unveil the Professional Women’s Cricket League.
“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, recognizing the league’s potential to redefine the narrative around women in sports in the country.”
Today marks a great milestone for women’s sport. We are not just launching a women’s league. We are also launching a movement that will resonate for generations to come!#CSAWomensLeague #BePartOfIt pic.twitter.com/YWGnAm9H19
— Minister of Sport, Arts & Culture (@zizikodwa) August 22, 2023
The Western Cape Government has welcomed the announcement.
The MEC of Sport Anroux Marais said it is heartening to see that Cricket South Africa is investing in women’s teams, and that we seem to be moving to equal payment for all players.
“We need to continue working towards equal opportunities in all sporting codes. The Western Cape has shown that we are ready and able to host these large sporting events and we have seen that women’s events attract large numbers of spectators from across the world.”
Marais says the provincial government will continue to bid and aim host large sporting events in the Western Cape.