SYDNEY: Governor-General of Australia Peter Cosgrove on Monday joined Cricket Australia (CA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) James Sutherland to announce the introduction of an annual Governor-General's XI match that will see some of the country's most talented female cricketers take on touring international teams.
This year, the Governor-General's XI, featuring a mix of experienced and talented young players, will take on the touring Indian women's team in a Twenty20 match at the Drummoyne Oval here on January 22.
The Indian team will be touring Australia to play three Twenty20 Internationals and One-Day Internationals (ODI) each from January 26 to February 7.
The fixture has been inspired by the annual Prime Minister's XI match for Australia's male cricketers which was instituted by Robert Menzies in 1951. The Governor-General's XI will be selected by CA in consultation with the Governor-General and will be announced in the days before the match.
"Australia's women cricketers are the best in the world. The Governor-General's XI is an opportunity to showcase many of these experienced and up-and-coming players against formidable international teams," said Cosgrove.
Sutherland said the match will become an annual celebration of women's cricket in Australia.
"Australian cricket is honoured that the Governor-General has chosen to support the game in this way. Our goal is to see cricket become the sport of choice for women and girls across the nation, whether as participants or fans, and this annual fixture is another important step in helping realise that vision," said the CA CEO.
"Almost a quarter of the 1.2 million Australians now playing cricket are women and girls and their numbers continue to grow rapidly. Drawing more females to the game, as players and fans, presents as the most significant opportunity for cricket to become incredibly strong and enduring."