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Cricket Australia reveal the new official name for women’s team

The board's decision came as a symbolic move towards gender equality alongside the men's team.

Australia
 (Photo by Matt King – CA/Cricket Australia/Getty Images)

The Australia women’s team will no longer be called the Southern Stars. Cricket Australia has decided to refer to it as the Australian women’s cricket team. The board’s decision came as a symbolic move towards gender equality alongside the men’s team.

CA made the announcement at the weekend function organized in honour of the winning teams at the 1978, 1982, 1988, 1997, 2005 and 2013 women’s World Cups. The event was held in Brisbane on Saturday night.

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As a prequel to CA’s decision, members of the national team had wondered for several years why they needed a nickname.

By the same token, the Australian men’s team had been playing cricket all round the globe for 24 years prior to Federation in 1901. However, the men’s team was never referred to by any label other than “Australia” or “the Australians”. Hence, CA decided to omit the nickname for the women’s team as well, and CA chairman David Peever mentioned that the announcement will place the women on equal footing.

This move carries considerable weight: Cricket Australia

“This move may appear symbolic, but it does carry considerable weight. Cricket cannot hope to be a sport for all Australians if it does not recognise the power of words, and the respect for women that sits behind such decisions,” he said.

“As we saw on Saturday night, Australia’s female cricketers are among the very best sportspeople this country has ever produced. Australia has captured six of the ten World Cup titles, winning more than 87 percent of the matches it has contested, an astonishing figure. Today’s team is ranked number one in the world across all three formats of the game,” Peever added.

“We are not dropping the ‘Southern Stars’, a wonderful brand that our cricketers have created and which will remain as an alternative name for the team, but the new naming convention demonstrates that Cricket Australia is looking at all the ways in which it operates to ensure we can meet the ambition of being a sport for all,” David Peever shared.

CA’s decision driven by Ann Sherry

Some members of the Australian women’s cricket team had raised the question of the team’s name on some occasions earlier. However, Peever mentioned that the change essentially took place because of prominent businesswoman Ann Sherry. Her words during last year’s Australian Cricket Conference made board directors and the management ponder over this matter.

“Ann rightly questioned whether we were walking the talk, whether we understood what it takes to be truly gender neutral, and a sport that is welcoming to women,” he said.

The Australian Women’s Cricket Team are all set to travel to England on Friday for the 2017 Women’s World Cup. The side, led by Meg Lanning, will have a warm-up fixture against South Africa at Oakham on June 20. They will kick off their campaign against West Indies on June 26 at Taunton.

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