Former Australia captain Alex Blackwell has become the first woman in the 159-year history of New South Wales cricket to be elected to the board.
Blackwell, 34, retired from all formats in February after a record 251 matches for Australia. She led her country to victories in the Ashes and the World T20, and was even more prolific in domestic cricket. Her final act as a professional cricketer was lifting the Women’s National Cricket League Trophy for a 14th time for New South Wales earlier this year.
“I grew up loving the game and am grateful for all the opportunities that cricket has given me,” Blackwell said. “I want to continue contributing to the game and thank the Cricket NSW members for the faith they have placed in me to do that at Board level.
“I have been fortunate to play during a rapidly expanding era in women’s cricket and being the first woman elected to the cricket NSW board continues that journey. Cricket in Australia has never been watched or played by more people, particularly women and girls, and I am keen to help ensure that continues.”
There have been other women on the Cricket NSW Board – notably former director Rina Hore and current director Patricia Forsythe – but Blackwell is the first woman to be elected by members.
Chief executive Andrew Jones pointed to this development as a consequence of governance reforms. “Until 2016 Elected Directors could only be drawn from a pool of 34 club, Zone and association delegates, all but one of whom were male,” he said. “Now members can nominate anyone for election they believe to be qualified. This important change allows members to elect people the calibre of Alex as directors without them needing to be delegates first.”
Blackwell will continue captaining Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League.