AAP & Cricket Network
AAP & Cricket Network
Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland is confident local crowds will get behind the world No.1 Australians when this summer's Commonwealth Bank Women's Ashes get underway on October 22.
With just over a month remaining until the opening ODI of the multi-format Ashes at Brisbane's AB Field, the Southern Stars squad traveled to Brisbane, Coffs Harbour, Sydney and Canberra on Wednesday to spread the Ashes fever.
BUY TICKETS: Women's Ashes tickets: Adults $10, children free
In Sydney - which will host the historic first-ever Ashes day-night Test at North Sydney Oval from November 9 as well as the opening T20 match - Sutherland was on hand as NSW batter Rachael Haynes was unveiled as Australia's stand-in captain for the series.
He said record crowds at recent women's soccer internationals in Australia have given local cricket fans something to aspire to.
The Matildas attracted 15,089 supporters to their recent clash with Brazil in Penrith, then 16,829 packed in to watch them defeat the same opposition in Newcastle.
The figures left a big impression on Sutherland, who signed off this year on a record pay rise for female players, who is upbeat the Ashes will be followed by the public just as keenly.
"The great crowds the Matildas have attracted ... that's something for Australian cricket fans to aspire to," he said.
"We've seen in recent times a really strong wave of public support for women's sport.
"It doesn't get any bigger than an Ashes.
"We expect a big crowd at the kickoff match at Allan Border Field."
Enjoyable morning back at school to pump up the #Ashes!! - Make sure you come down to the games and show your support!! - cricket.com.au/tickets
The profile of women's sport has recently exploded in Australia, with an epic Rebel WBBL derby in Sydney earlier this year drawing 17,346 fans.
This summer marks the first time tickets are being sold to stand-alone women's cricket matches in Australia.
"Ticket sales are good," Sutherland said.
"There's lots of tickets available to matches at Coffs Harbour and the day-night Test at North Sydney ... none of those grounds are huge capacity so we encourage people to get in early."
Sutherland added he wanted Australia to host more women's fixtures in future summers, above and beyond the International Cricket Council's guidelines.
In Canberra, Australia batter Elyse Villani said a packed house at Manuka for the final two T20Is of the series "would be huge".
"It was a very exciting finish to the last Ashes series and while I'm sort of hoping we can wrap things up as early possible, chances are it’ll level out and we'll come into the T20 series for a decider," Villani said.
"Manuka is a great place to bat. As a batter, I enjoy playing on a ground the size of Manuka, and the size also allows the crowd to get involved."
In Brisbane, allrounder Jess Jonassen said it was a dream come true to be playing an Ashes match at Brisbane's AB Field.
"Hopefully we'll set a sell out crowd to AB Field and create a really good atmosphere there. For myself and Beth (Mooney), the opportunity to play an Ashes game on our home ground is something we never thought we'd be able to do."
Good fun this morning on the #wheelofbrisbane 🎡 Promoting the opening match of the Women's #Ashes at AB Field on October 22nd 🙌🏼🏏 Tickets just $10 and the little rascals are free 💁🏼 #31daystogo#fillthehill
lauren_cheatleI didn't know it was possible to do so much in one day! ✔️ two radio interviews ✔️ primary school visit ✔️ running session ✔️ TV interview ✔️ Tea with the Mayor of Coffs Harbour
- elysevillaniWhere's Wally? Thanks Canberra for helping both @ajwellington and I spread the word about the upcoming #ashes Two T20's to be played as part of the series Nov 19th and 21st at Manuka Oval.
jjonassen21Nice morning at the Qld U18 Rookie Challenge spreading the #Ashes word. Great to chat with some of the girls and see the talent on display - some stars for the future! #cricket#womenscricket#australia#england#summer
- alexjoyblackwellTop day in Coffs promoting the #Ashes. Met some great school kids, enjoyed interacting with local media and finished the day having a cuppa with Denise Knight, Coffs Harbour's delightful mayor ☕️
- beamsy26Things I've learnt on my visit to Goulburn promoting the #Ashes 1. I'm below average in height for a high school student 2. The boomerang is a photo that moves on Instagram 3. No one is impressed that I can air drop (apparently that's so 3 years ago)
- southernstarsThanks for having us today Brisbane, Sydney, Coffs & Canberra! See you again soon for all the @commbank Women's Ashes action ➡️ www.cricket.com.au/tickets
Commonwealth Bank Women's Ashes
First ODI Allan Border Field, October 22
Brisbane Charity Partner: Lord Mayor's Charitable Trust
Second ODI Coffs International Stadium, October 26
Third ODI Coffs International Stadium, October 29
Day-Night Test North Sydney Oval, November 9-12
First T20 North Sydney Oval, November 17
North Sydney Charity Partner: McGrath Foundation
Second T20 Manuka Oval, November 19
Third T20 Manuka Oval, November 21
Canberra Charity Partner: Lord's Taverners ACT