WNCL: All You Need To Know
The revamped domestic 50-over women's competition commences this Saturday
20 September 2019, 04:50 PM AEST
What, where and when?
The Women’s National Cricket League, or the WNCL, is Australia’s national domestic 50-over competition.
The competition has a 23-year-history, with the winning state presented the Ruth Preddy Cup. Over the 23 years, the New South Wales Breakers have been the dominant presence, last season adding a 20th title to their collection.
The tournament features seven teams, with matches played across Australia at a combination of bigger venues including the WACA Ground in Perth, Allan Border Field in Brisbane – as well as smaller grounds including CitiPower Centre in Melbourne and Hurstville Oval in Sydney.
Leah Poulton, High Performance Coach of the female programs at Cricket Australia says the WNCL is a crucial tool for gauging player performance over extended periods of time.
“The WNCL is a really important competition for us,” Poulton told cricket.com.au.
“It allows us to see the players in lots of different situations. You’re able to see how someone comes back to bowl a second spell, or you’re able to see how someone bats under pressure when they need to bat for a long time.”
With a 50-over World Cup to be held in 2021 in New Zealand, performance in the WNCL will be paramount for those vying for national squad selection.
The 2019-20 edition of the WNCL will feature a revamped schedule, with each of the seven teams playing eight games this summer, an increase on the six they’ve played across each of the past nine seasons.
The fixture is set up as four mini carnivals throughout the 2019-20 summer, commencing with seven matches across four days starting on September 21.
Attention then turns to the Rebel WBBL season, before a second round of WNCL matches will take place in the new year, on the weekend of January 6.
The third round will be played shortly after on the weekend of January 21, followed by the fourth and final round starting February 4.
At the conclusion of the regular season, the two top-ranked teams will play off in the final to be held on February 16.
Players to watch:
With the world-beating Australian squad members unavailable for the opening round of WNCL as they make their way back from the West Indies in time to play Sri Lanka at the end of the month, Poulton shed some light on a few of the lesser-known, young guns she expected to perform for their states this season.
Isabelle Afaras (ACT)
“Isabelle’s real asset is her consistency. She’s an off-spin bowler who’s always challenging the stumps, I imagine she’ll be a real handful if she gets a run.”
Phoebe Litchfield (NSW)
“Phoebe’s a 16-year-old left hander who’s a really exciting young player. We saw that video of her in the nets posted by the Breakers that went viral, but she’s a huge talent not only with the bat but in the field as well.”
Some pretty good shots here.Introducing Phoebe Litchfield. pic.twitter.com/IR1umhErky— NSW Breakers (@NSWBreakers) July 9, 2019
Josie Dooley (QLD)
“Josie’s had a really good pre-season. She’s an experienced player now, she came over to England with Australia A for the second time this year, and she’s been in the National Performance Squad for two years now. She’s primed for a big summer after a really good breakthrough in the WNCL last year.”
Belinda Vakarewa (Tas)
“Belinda is bowling really well. She’s made a few small changes to her action and was one of our standout performers for Australia A in England this year. The challenge for Belinda at NSW was never her ability, they just had such a great bowling lineup so it will be good to see her get plenty of opportunity to perform.”
Heather Graham (WA)
“She’s got great all round skills. She had a great year with the bat last year in WNCL and had a great year with the ball in the WBBL and she’s probably one of the best fielders in the country.”
Nicole Faltum (Vic)
"Nicole Faltum is another keeper bat, with really great hands. She’s also underrated with her batting. She’s put in a lot of hard work with her batting this year and I think she’s really well placed to contribute a lot for Victoria this year."
How are the squads looking
With plenty of player movement in the off-season, the 2019-20 season of the WNCL is shaping up to be a fascinating one. Ellyse Perry is preparing for her first season with Victoria after a lengthy career with the NSW Breakers. Georgia Redmayne has jumped ship from Tasmania to Queensland to accommodate her career in medicine. Meanwhile Tasmania is looking equipped for its best season yet, welcoming five new faces including Australia contracted Nicola Carey to the fold. Sophie Devine is back for the Western Fury, while the South Australian Scorpions have been given a huge boost with Suzie Bates set to feature in the upcoming opening weekend.
With Australian players being rested before the home series against Sri Lanka, here’s a look at the squads for the opening round, as well as those players absent on duty with the Australian team.
ACT Meteors Contracted players: Erin Osborne, Isabelle Afaras, Maitlan Brown, Zoe Cooke, Sarah Coyte, Nicola Hancock, Erica Kershaw, Claire Koski, Anna Lanning, Carly Leeson, Matilda Lugg, Katie Mack, Angela Reakes, Amy Yates
Round one squad: TBC
Round one squad: Lisa Griffith (c), Sarah Aley, Stella Campbell, Lauren Cheatle, Rene Farrell, Jodie Hicks, Saskia Horley, Pheobe Litchfield, Hayley Silver-Holmes, Lauren Smith, Naomi Stalenberg, Rachel Trenaman, Tahlia Wilson
Absent on Australian duty: Erin Burns, Alyssa Healy, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes
Injured: Maddy Darke
Round one squad: Kirby Short (c), Grace Harris, Georgia Redmayne, Laura Harris, Charli Knott, Mikayla Hinkley, Josie Dooley, Sammy Jo Johnson, Jemma Barsby, Georgia Prestwidge, Haidee Birkett, Courtney Sippell
Absent on Australian duty: Delissa Kimmince, Beth Mooney, Jess Jonassen
Round one squad: Molly Strano (c), Kristen Beams, Makinley Blows, Elly Donald, Nicole Faltum, Tess Flintoff, Alana King, Courtney Neale, Rhiann O’Donnell, Chloe Rafferty, Annabel Sutherland, Elyse Villani, Amy Vine
Absent on Australian duty: Meg Lanning, Ellyse Perry, Georgia Wareham, Tayla Vlaeminck
Injured: Sophie Molineux
South Australia Scorpions
Round one squad: Tahlia McGrath (c), Sam Betts, Emma de Broughe, Ellie Falconer, Amanda-Jade Wellington, Darcie Brown, Bridget Patterson, Stacey Oates, Suzie Bates (NZ), Annie O’Neil, Eliza Doddridge, Alex Price
Absent on Australian duty: Megan Schutt
Round one squad: Brooke Hepburn, Corinne Hall, Samantha Bates, Stef Daffara, Erin Fazackerley, Emma Flint, Katelyn Fryett, Maisy Gibson, Emma Manix-Geeves, Sasha Moloney, Meg Phillips, Emily Smith, Courtney Webb, Belinda Vakarewa
Absent on Australian duty: Nicola Carey
Round one squad: Chloe Piparo (c), Megan Banting, Nicole Bolton, Piepa Cleary, Sheldyn Cooper, Ashely Day, Sophie Devine (NZ), Amy Edgar, Molly Healy, Kathleen Hempenstall, Emma Inglis, Emma King, Taneale Peschel, Meg Thompson
How can I follow the WNCL?
All matches will be scored live on cricket.com.au, while we'll also provide added written coverage throughout the tournament and the final will be live streamed.
What about going to a game?
All WNCL games are open for the public to attend, for free! Get along to cheer on your state and watch the best in the business up close.