Ashes-winning vice-captain Alex Blackwell hopes to roll her team’s achievements into the inaugural women’s Big Bash League and boost the profile of women’s cricket in Australia.
Australia will play the final match of the Ashes, a Twenty20 match in Cardiff on Monday, having already claimed the urn.
It’s the first time since 2001 that an Australian team, men’s or women’s has won the Ashes on English soil and is cause for celebration by Blackwell and her teammates.
But unlike England’s men’s team, who were soundly beaten by an innings and 46 runs in the dead rubber Test at The Oval, Blackwell and her team are determined to close out the series with a big win and carry some good will back to Australia.
“It’s great timing as well for us leading into our domestic series in Australia,”
“We’ve got the women’s Big Bash League starting and we want to get that competition up and running and become a premier competition around the world.
“I think this gives us that attention and that profile.”
Also on the horizon is the opening of the women’s BBL, which Blackwell hopes will take the women’s game to new heights in Australia.
On the back of the Ashes triumph, there’s no better time to cash in.
And having played in front of sold-out crowds for the T20 and one-day fixtures during the Ashes, Blackwell now dreams of seeing the same at the SCG, Gabba and Adelaide Oval.
“I think what we’ve seen here in England over this Ashes series every match has been live on TV and we’ve had sell-out crowds for stand-alone women’s games,” Blackwell said.
“I hope to see the women’s Big Bash generate a lot of interest, get the crowds in to watch us, (in) particular with the double-headers that will occur with some televised matches.
“I’d really like to play in front of a more-friendly home crowd.
“It’s been tough playing here with a sell-out crowd going for England.
“That’s what I look forward to in the future, playing at home for Sydney Thunder and having a crowd there to support us.”
Men’s captain Steve Smith also had some kind words for the women, and admitted he may soon be picking Blackwell’s brain for tips on how to win back the Ashes and break their World Twenty20 drought.
“We all know how difficult it is to (win the Ashes in England), so for them to be able to do that over here it’s an extraordinary achievement,” Smith said.
“And also to be No.1 in all three forms of the game. That’s what us as a men’s side are striving for and the girls have performed brilliantly over here.
“It’s really exciting going forward.”