The Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL) is the premier 50-over domestic cricket competition in Australia. Contested between the six states and the ACT, the WNCL’s first season was 1996/97. Prior to then, state sides competed in the Australian Women’s Cricket Championships dating back to the 1930s. The current format is a round-robin fixture with each side playing eight matches. The top two sides then compete in a Final to determine the winner of the Ruth Preddey Cup. The trophy was struck prior to the 1972/72 season and named after Preddey who represented New South Wales in the first inter-colonial match against Victoria. Preddey went on to become Team Manager for the first Australian Women’s Cricket Team.
The WNCL began as a five-team competition before expanding in 2009/10 and again in 2010/11, with the ACT and Tasmania respectively joining to competition to make it a seven-team competition. In the 24 completed seasons, New South Wales have won the most titles with 20. Victoria have won two with South Australia and Western Australia each winning one. The Player of the Year Award has been presented to the competition’s best player each season. South Australia’s Karen Rolton has won the award on five occasions whilst Belinda Clark (New South Wales & Victoria) and Western Australia’s Nicole Bolton have each won the award three times.
The WNCL continues to produce world class players for the Australian team whilst providing excellent opportunities for Australia’s younger talent to test themselves against the best.