Port Macquarie cricketers Sophia Mavros and Kate Jackson are encouraging female players to embrace an explosion of regional support for the sport.
The pair are part of a Coffs Coast Chargers team that will head to the finals of the inaugural T20 NSW Women's Regional Bash at the Sydney Cricket Ground on January 21.
Jackson captained the NSW Bush Breakers last season and is in her 18th season of cricket.
She said times had changed and opportunities are open for higher level women's cricket.
"We have a squad of 15 players; there will be a couple of other girls coming in and we will probably lose two of our girls to the under-18 nationals being played in Tasmania in January," she said.
"I think we have such strong players in Port Macquarie because girls have always been accepted into the boys competition locally. It's never really been a barrier to our participation.
"I think now with the professionalism of the women's game and the explosion of participation numbers we are actually seeing the benefits of that.
"Over the last season we have seen numbers in the Hastings competition grow significantly. We are up from 24 to 30 teams in the junior competition and there is definitely room for more.
"We are even looking to run some girls-only competitions in term one next year, which is an exciting thing for the area because it hasn't been done before."
Mavros has played cricket for four years since she first picked up a bat in her first season at school in year six.
She also said there are now pathways to play in local and state competitions.
"I started cricket through the school team and I think if you do want to have a go, play for your school," she said.
"Have a go at club cricket after that and strike to have a role in your team. If you keep working hard you'll get there."
The pair will be joined at the Regional Bash by fellow Port Macquarie cricketers Keisha Dowsett, Jo Borger and Hannah Faux.
The Chargers outfit defeated the Northern Inland Bolters by 15 runs in Tamworth on October 26 with Jackson top scoring with 33 runs from 51 balls, batting at number four.
Newcastle Blasters who won the first-ever NSW Women's Regional Bash match will face the Chargers first on January 21. The winner of that game will play off for the NSW Women's Regional Bash title under lights that night.
"I've never gotten to this level before, it makes you motivated and inspires you to be better," Mavros said.
"You're inspired to perform better when you're playing with a team of skilled cricketers who support you."
The inaugural tournament for female cricketers is sponsored by the state government and the International Cricket Council T20 World Cup 2020 to support growth of cricket in NSW.
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