No code war in women's sport: Ellyse Perry
Photo Source: AAP
Women's sport is booming across the nation but dual international Ellyse Perry can't see a code war breaking out any time soon, at least when it comes to Australia's cricket talent.
Perry was one many of Southern Stars to take part in the inaugural women's Big Bash League (WBBL) season in 2015-16, which featured impressive TV ratings and attendance figures.
This year has also featured the creation of a new national netball league, which came with an improved pay deal for players, and a draft for the new women's AFL competition that starts in 2017.
Cricketers Jess Cameron, Delissa Kimmince, Emma Kearney and Kirsty Lamb were all recruited by AFL clubs but will spend the summer with their respective WBBL sides.
Perry, who has represented her country in both cricket and soccer but played much more of the former in recent years, knows how hard it is to juggle two major sporting commitments.
The gun allrounder says only good things can come from the new league.
"It's wonderful for them. It just gives them more exposure to elite sport. I'm sure they'll bring things back to cricket from their experiences with AFL and vice versa," Perry said.
"There's a real collaboration aspect to it as well. It just makes better athletes.
"There's a number of positives to the amount of opportunity female athletes are getting in Australia now ... and the amount of support they're getting from sporting organisations.
"Whether it's Cricket Australia, the women's AFL, rugby, tennis, netball, soccer - there's so much of it now and I think the crux of it is it's about providing opportunity to females to play their chosen sports."
No AFL club attempted to add a third sport to Perry's crowded schedule, with the 25-year-old joking they must have already had a "pretty clear idea" of her skills with the Sherrin.
"They must have seen me play our Southern Stars hybrid game we have in the warm-up," she laughed.
Cricket Australia boss James Sutherland rejected the idea his sport would suffer at the hands of the two-month women's AFL season that starts in February.
"Cricket is Australia's national sport and we've got a great history of representation in the game and what else could you want as an aspiring girl than to represent your country," Sutherland said.
"Why would I be worried about the AFL?
"We actually don't see the competitive nature of it. We see at the moment the landscape is such that girls and women an choose to play more than one sport.
"That's a good thing and should continue."