Four of NZ's female cricketers have been announced to play in the inaugural Kia Super League competition in England later this year. Of the 18 international players selected, two of them are Māori.
It's the beginning of a new era because England has just announced a two-week-long professional domestic league.
Suzie Bates of Ngāi Tahu and White Ferns teammate Sara McGlashan of Ngāti Porou will play together for the local Hampshire club, the Southern Vipers.
White Ferns Captain Suzie Bates says, “There's just so many players around the world now that can step up in T20 and the likes of the West Indies, South Africa, hopefully, some Indian players get involved in these leagues in the future.”
Kia Super League was established after the inaugural Australian professional competition, the Big Bash this year. But players of the elite level can only earn up to $2000 in this new format of T20 matches.
“In New Zealand, we've had contracts for the last couple of years which is starting to make our players train a lot more and have a lot more cricket. The more players we can get in those competitions, the better it is for the White Ferns,” says Bates.
The demand for more opportunities has always been a case for many top athletes around the globe including New Zealand. And since the 1930's, women's cricket in New Zealand has been progressive.
Catherine Campbell the General Operations Manager for New Zealand Cricket says, “The women's game has come such a long way but I think it goes to show that how much has been made .”
With the International Cricket Council helping to move women's cricket forward, Kia Super League's main focus this year is developing future stars in the game.