MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 05: Kate Cross of the Heat bowls during the Women's Big Bash League match between the Brisbane Heat and the Melbourne Stars at Junction Oval on December 5, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge - CA/Cricket Australia/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 05: Kate Cross of the Heat bowls during the Women's Big Bash League match between the Brisbane Heat and the Melbourne Stars at Junction Oval on December 5, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge - CA/Cricket Australia/Getty Images) Michael Dodge - CA

Hill revels in Women’s Big Bash League as tough match looms

CRICKET: Women's cricket has never received this much attention in Australia and Buderim's Courtney Hill and her Brisbane Heat team-mates are relishing the hype.

They are in the spotlight this summer via the inaugural Women's Big Bash League, which runs in conjunction with the men's Big Bash League.

"I think the merge with the men's competition has been really successful in regards to promotion and awareness (of women's cricket)," Hill said.

"Social media is going crazy and a lot of people are talking about it just in general, so it's really good. It can only be good for the girls' game.

"And previously we would have had no television coverage. Now we've got eight or nine games."

Indeed, the exciting Twenty20 format and free-to-air TV appearances should only serve to enhance the game, encouraging the next generation to pick up bat and ball.

But don't be fooled. Hill and most of her team-mates can't forge a career in the game yet.

"I definitely have to hold down another job," the Unity College Year 10 co-ordinator said. Still, Hill said she was soaking up the atmosphere and the experience of playing in the WBBL.

"In the past with our national league competition we've had a few international players come over and play but there is even more of them (in the WBBL) given it's only six weeks of competition," she said.

"So there are plenty of exciting international players who have joined us and who are certainly contributing to the hype around it."

The Heat is second on the eight-team ladder midway through the competition after winning six of 10 outings but it has played more matches than its rivals.

Hill said the team must "knuckle down" for a crunch New Year's Day clash with the ladder-leading Hurricanes.

"The Hurricanes haven't lost a game yet so they will be quite tough," she said.

"We constantly talk a lot about putting all three aspects of the game together (batting, bowling, fielding) and I'm not sure if we have done that clinically yet.

"We've done one or two of those really well in games but we'd love to be able to do (all three) against the Hurricanes."

Hill, 28, grew up in Monto before relocating to Rockhampton.

She moved to the Sunshine Coast in 2011 to be closer to the cricket action after making her state debut in 2009.

She claimed 1/13 off three overs in her last outing.

A pace bowler, Hill is also an accomplished sprinter, having won the Ipswich Gift.

University of the Sunshine Coast student Abi Godfrey, 19, was also recently called in to the Heat set-up.

A promising leg-spinning allrounder, Godfrey is from the Gold Coast.

She burst on to the cricket scene during last year's national under-18 championship and was named in the Australian Development Squad following the tournament.



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