The ICC today announced the next intake of the Rookie Placement Programme. A collaboration with Cricket Australia to invest in the development of the women’s game through the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) 2017/2018.

Eight cricketers from five Member countries will head to Australia to join to each one of the WBBL franchise clubs. The two-week placement will provide the players the opportunity to experience elite cricket environments, accelerate their development through training sessions and to take back what they have learnt to their respective national teams. In addition, the rookies will also have the opportunity to take part in media and promotional activities.

Members outside of those competing in the ICC Women’s Championship and have qualified for the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Qualifier 2018 were offered the opportunity to nominate players for the programme. The selected rookies, placement dates and nominated clubs are as follows:

Kathryn Bryce, Adelaide Strikers, Scotland, 8-22 December 2017
Rumana Ahmed, Brisbane Heat, Bangladesh, 10-29 January 2018
Sarah Bryce, Hobart Hurricanes, Scotland, 15-31 December 2017
Gaby Lewis, Melbourne Renegades, Ireland, 29 December 2017 – 12 January 2018
Khadija Tul Kubra, Melbourne Stars, Bangladesh, 16-29 January 2018
Ravini Oa, Perth Scorchers, PNG, 28 December 2017 – 8 January 2018
Kim Garth, Sydney Sixers, Ireland, 21 January 2017 – 4 February 2018
Sterre Kalis, Sydney Thunder, Netherlands, 7-21 December 2017

ICC’s Women Cricket Officer, Holly Colvin highlights the importance of programmes like these for upcoming cricketers.

“It is fantastic to collaborate once again with the Women’s Big Bash League which provides an unrivalled opportunity to eight rising stars competing outside of the ICC Women’s Championship in a professional elite environment.

“The players can train alongside the very best and accelerate their development. This is an exciting time for the game and this investment assists us with growing the game across the world.”

Head of Big Bash, Kim McConnie said she was delighted to be able to work with the ICC on such a fantastic project.

“The WBBL has gone from strength to strength and it’s pleasing to again have the ICC’s support in making this initiative possible.

“Women’s cricket across the globe is continuing to advance and having players from non-traditional cricket countries training and potentially playing with each of the WBBL clubs provides the opportunity for them to learn from some of the world’s best players.

“Last year we saw Ireland’s Kim Garth become the first rookie to represent their club and she ended up being part of the Sydney Sixers championship winning side, so we are excited to see what this year’s rookies have to offer.”

Scotland’s Sarah Bryce who will represent Hobart Hurricanes said:

“It provides an incredible chance to gain more experience overseas and bring ideas back home which can not only help myself but the whole Scotland team. Without the chance to see better teams and players in action it is difficult for teams like Scotland to improve enough to really challenge them.”

Gaby Lewis of the Melbourne Renegades and Ireland said:

“ICC have opened the door to allow players from Associate Members to experience playing at a higher level at the WBBL. As Ireland is now a Full Member, this experience will prove invaluable in the years to come.”

Adelaide Strikers rookie Scotland’s Kathryn Bryce said:

“I am very happy that the ICC has provided this opportunity. It has given everyone the chance involved to learn from some of the best cricketers in the world, which we would not have had the opportunity to do at an event as big as the WBBL.”

PNG’s Ravini Oa, who will represent Perth Scorchers said:

“The best thing about the ICC Rookie Placement Programme is being selected to play and train with experienced female cricketers, who have participated in World Cups and being part of the Perth Scorches Team.”

Sterre Kalis of the Netherlands and Sydney Thunder said:

“This opportunity at the WBBL allows me to broaden my horizons and experience how things are done in a professional cricket environment. In particular the intensity of training sessions and the preparation for a game. This experience will hopefully help in my ambition to become a contracted player of a WBBL team in a couple of years.”

Bangladesh’s Rumana Ahmed of Brisbane Heat said:

“The WBBL is the only franchise based tournament for women and is very competitive. Every cricketer wants to be a part of it and the coverage of the event will be worldwide. This experience will make me a better all-round professional and player”

Melbourne Stars Khadija Tul Kubra of Bangladesh said:

“The ICC Rookie Placement Programme provides the best platform for sharing experiences and learning skills. The ICC has provided all necessary support for the programme to enable it to have a positive far-reaching impact on the women’s game.”