Alex Blackwell becomes the first woman to be elected to New South Wales board
In the 159 years since its inception, the New South Wales Cricket board has appointed a woman as a member of the directing board. The historic appointment has been in form of former captain Alex Blackwell, the veteran bat who donned the green and gold for Australia for 16 seasons and featured in a record 251 internationals, debuting all the way back in 2003.
Her recognition in the form of this inclusion is not only an evidence of the growing role of women in cricket administration, with ICC appointing their first ever female executive last year and instituting a quota for female representation, it is also an attestation of the legendary Blackwell's stellar achievements on the field, particularly as a leader.
She led her country to victories in the Ashes and the World T20, and in her final campaign as a professional cricketer, she led her side to a silverware win in the Women's National Cricket League. The end of her credentials is not there, she also captained the Sydney Thunder side, to add to her aggregate of 400 plus runs at an average of 46, that won the inaugural Women's Big Bash League by defeating heavyweights Sydney Sixers in the finals.
"I grew up loving the game and am grateful for all the opportunities that cricket has given me," Blackwell said after her appointment. "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."
Chief executive of Cricket NSW, Andrew Jones attributed this change as a result 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. "