Given all that has happened, it's almost surreal to think that it was little more than two months ago that I played in front 86,174 at the MCG for the Women's T20 World Cup final – a surreal experience and a record for women's sport in this country and women's cricket anywhere.
This was a historic moment for the game and no doubt an event that many people will remember for the rest of their lives.
Since that night I've had many conversations with my teammates, past Australian cricketers and young women who will hopefully represent their country in the future. One common theme emerges in these conversations, and that is we need to build on the momentum created by the tournament to ensure women's cricket in Australia continues to flourish and build a stronger foundation, not just in Australia but across the world.
When I was growing up playing the game, the opportunities for young women and girls to feel empowered through seeing their role models on television, social media, and the front and back page of newspapers across the country was something that was difficult to imagine. But earlier this year it was real and something we must make sure is not a one-off.
This moment and the energy invested by many needs to be a lasting legacy.
We have seen the women's game continue to grow over several years through the creation of the Women's Big Bash League and significant investment into various programs and resources. Now is the time to seize the moment and improve the WBBL and Women's National Cricket League even further. Recent reports that consideration is being given to reducing the number of WBBL games is concerning. Such a move would be contrary to cricket's aim to be a sport for everyone.
Now is the time to seize the moment and improve the WBBL and Women's National Cricket League even further.Alyssa Healy
Not only would it defy the growth of the women's game, but would amplify the divide between international female cricket and the domestic version. Just as in the men's game, the female domestic competition is a proven breeding ground for developing the next generation of cricketers capable of beating the best in the world.
The results of recent increased investment through the success of our Australian women's cricket team was on display for the world to see back in March, where the talents shown by the team have been enhanced by having a greater opportunity to focus on our craft and earn a living from the game.
Yet for many of my NSW and Sydney Sixers teammates, it is a vastly different experience.
Domestic female players are experiencing increased pressure to train "over and above" their contractual obligations; many training for nine months of the year for a handful of WNCL and WBBL games.
With such expectation and increased demands from state associations and WBBL clubs, there is limited opportunity for many of our female domestic cricketers to build a second career outside of cricket. An increase in demand has not been matched with appropriate remuneration. As a result, many players are finding it very difficult to have a balanced life, which is resulting in an increased level of wellbeing concerns with the stress of finding a second income to cover daily living expenses.
Domestic female players want to be the best cricketers they can be, they want to invest in their sporting career. They want to play more games and be the best version of themselves.
The transition in and out of any elite program can also be difficult. However, for our female cricketers there are a number of other factors they must consider.
There must be a foundation for our international stars to rise. While there is no doubt the future is bright, we need to take stock to ensure we strengthen our domestic competition, considering the needs of our current and future cricketers while the professionalism of the female game continues to build.
We have an opportunity to build on the success of the T20 World Cup and work together to ensure Australian female cricket continues to develop at all levels.
Alyssa Healy was player of the match in the Women's T20 World Cup final.