Junior Talent Pool Reaches New Depths
28 March 2017  

The Western Australian Cricket Association is for the first time hosting a comprehensive Talent Identification process for its state underage female teams, in a clear sign of the impact of its community programs.

The most recent census data showed that WA last year experienced a 26.73 per cent leap year-on-year in female participation and edged closer to gender parity in school-aged participants, with girls making up more than 46 per cent of players.

Those figures have begun translating into growth along the talent pathway and have resulted in the WACA instigating a Talent Identification and selection process for its Under 13, Under 15 and Under 18 programs, which began last week.

Each age group is expected to attract about 40 players, with each squad to be whittled to about 24 to allow for intraclub matches, before the final squads of about 13 players to compete the national championships are selected around October.

It is the first time participation levels for the underage female programs have been at a level requiring such a selection process.

WACA Development Coach – Female Programs Orazio Santalucia said: "This is a really exciting development and is a credit to the Female Pathway at all levels.

"At the top-end, the WBBL has given young girls a visible competition to aspire to and we know it – and even the BBL – has played a significant role in attracting more young players to the game than ever before, but the crucial part for cricket was what to do once those players started coming in.

"The numbers we’re expecting for these programs now show that the work done by the WACA’s Game & Market Development team at the grassroots level in putting together pathway programs, such as the Perth Scorchers Girls League, is working.

"The increased numbers mean we’ve got more athletes in our game and more girls than ever before putting their hand up for our development programs.

"It’s all positive for the entire pathway, because it means there is a next step for the juniors, which helps to strengthen the community and Premier Cricket competitions, which gives us a greater selection pool for state and WBBL cricket.”