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Thursday, 24 October 2019
Page: 5374

Ms CHESTERS (Bendigo) (13:51): This weekend will be very exciting in Bendigo. On Sunday we will have the official season opening of the Bendigo Cricket Association open women's cricket competition. It is exciting because we have teams from eight clubs competing. It almost didn't happen. There was a little bit of concern that maybe the clubs couldn't get full teams together—and did the women really want to play? But the clubs rallied and said, 'No, our girls want to play. Let them play.' So the association got behind the clubs, and we are now very excited to have a competition of eight teams. It is wonderful to see women getting actively involved in cricket. Our women at the elite level are doing outstandingly. Their performance in the Ashes and on the international stage has been fantastic. Australia can be very proud of what our women are achieving on the cricket grounds.

What's also important is a strong grassroots club competition. Women, too, love their cricket and want the opportunity to play at a club level. This is one of the only comps that exists in regional Australia, and I'm very proud that Bendigo has rallied together to get behind these women. Thank you to the sponsors and thank you to the clubs. Good luck to all the women who will be playing this weekend. I know this is going to be the beginning of a very long journey for women's cricket in Bendigo.