Hasrat Gill Is Hopeful About The Future Of Cricket For Girls & Women In Australia

The 18-year-old player has applauded Cricket Australia’s plan to drive growth in women and girls’ cricket via a 'Women and Girls Action Plan'.

Hasrat Gill

Hasrat Gill. Image Source: Supplied/Cricket Australia

Rising star Hasrat Gill has applauded Cricket Australia’s recently-announced plan to drive growth in women and girls’ cricket via a ‘Women and Girls Action Plan’. The 10-year plan involves increased investment in grassroots programs, player payments, and specific competitions and pathways to champion females in cricket. 

“I think it's a great plan to improve the state of the women's game in Australia and I think that will definitely then impact the game globally as well,” Gill told media at a press conference in Melbourne. “This plan is a big step forward. It’ll give more girls chances to play and succeed in cricket.” 

The 18-year-old, who was born in Amritsar in Punjab before migrating to Australia at the age of three, was recently called up to play in the Australian Under-19s Women's Squad for a tri-series tour in Sri Lanka. Opening up about the opportunity to play international cricket and what it means as a young woman, she said, “Anytime you play international cricket, you play for your country and you're always proud”. 

While cricket is unquestionably a popular sport to watch amongst many South Asian communities, there often aren't as many South Asian women who pursue the sport as a professional career path. Gill hopes this new plan, along with Cricket Australia’s Multicultural Action Plan announced last year, will help encourage more culturally and linguistically diverse women to follow their sporting dreams.

“Just be yourself and I think there's plenty of opportunities for young girls from any background to go ahead and play for Australia at any level… I think it's really good to see everything in place with this plan and also the multicultural action plan as well,” she said. 

Cricketer Hasrat Gill

Hasrat Gill. Image Source: Supplied/Cricket Australia

In recent years, we've seen more brown women in the cricket arena speaking about the importance of South Asian female representation in the sport.

Former England cricketer now commentator Isa Guha recently said brown female role models are imperative to encouraging more South Asian girls to take up the sport on a professional level. 

“It’s that classic cliche of if you can’t see it you can’t be it,” Guha told Draw Your Box during an appearance at the Kayo Sports Summer of Cricket launch in Sydney in December.

“When I was growing up playing the game, I only had male role models. I didn’t see a lot of females playing the sport… let alone a South Asian girl playing cricket.”

“I definitely think that the world has changed and perspectives have changed around women in sport, but also South Asian women in sport. The uptake is definitely getting better," she continued, adding that the "next big thing for women's cricket" is seeing South Asian women particularly going from playing it "at home with your brothers [and] your uncles" to "then taking that next step onto the pathway to playing club cricket".

Meanwhile the new ‘Women and Girls Action Plan’ strives to increase stadium spectator attendance at women’s international and WBBL matches. The WBBL will feature a 40-game regular season (in line with the BBL) and a new domestic women’s T20 competition will be introduced creating additional high-performance opportunities for domestic players. 

The new T20 competition will raise the average female domestic player salary for 2024-25 – inclusive of WBBL contract, State/Territory contract and domestic match payments – to $163,322, an increase of $12,303 (8%) on 2023-24, while the current WBBL salary cap will be maintained meaning no reduction in player payments.

When it comes to ensuring matches are available for audiences to watch at home, matches will be televised, including 20 simulcast on Foxtel/Kayo Sports and Seven with an additional 20 matches shown exclusively on Foxtel/Kayo Sports, with both Seven and Foxtel/Kayo Sports broadcasting the three finals.

The plan includes the following goals to be reached by 2034: 

  • 600,000 average annual attendance for all women’s cricket in Australia. 

  • Growing total revenue from women’s cricket to $121 million (an increase of $100 million).

  • Increasing participation by 5–12-year-old girls from 25,000 to 100,000. 

  • $500 million invested in infrastructure for women and girls’ cricket. 

  • At least 40% female representation in key positions across Australian Cricket (including executives, boards and community cricket roles). 

  • Winning gold medals at the 2028 and 2032 Olympics.