Kristen Beams recommends overhaul for Tasmanian women's cricket league

VOICE OF REASON: Kristen Beams (centre) in the ABC commentary box during this year's women's Twenty20 World Cup. Picture: Twitter
VOICE OF REASON: Kristen Beams (centre) in the ABC commentary box during this year's women's Twenty20 World Cup. Picture: Twitter

Tasmanian cricket pioneer Kristen Beams has turned the spotlight on the deficiencies which forced her to leave her home state.

Tasked with undertaking a review into Tasmania's female Premier League, the respected Ashes winner and media commentator concluded it has too many teams and lacks competition.

Recommending several major changes, including a reduction of teams from 10 to four, Launceston-born Beams said: "I'm grateful for the feedback from our stakeholders who have influenced the positive changes I know Cricket Tasmania will implement."

Fourteen years after moving to Victoria to forge a hugely-successful international career, the retired leg-spinner pulled no punches in an assessment of the women's game in her home state.

A decade after the introduction of the women's Premier League, Cricket Tasmania commissioned an independent review to ascertain whether it was meeting its objective.

After consultation with players, coaches, administrators, parents and CT staff, Beams identified some key issues and made a series of recommendations.

Her key suggestion was to prioritise the Greater Northern Raiders in a condensed competition.

"It's great to have been a part of a review that has put players at the centre of decision making," Beams said. "It's clear that the recommendations reflect this concept."

The review concluded that the existing program does not provide a good level of competition through trying to cater for all levels of ability, thereby pitting state representatives against first-time players.

It also felt the league has too many teams with insufficient playing stocks resulting in 40 per cent of participants playing in both first and development grade.

Beams' recommendations, which have been endorsed by the league's committee and clubs, included reducing the number of first grade teams to three from the South plus the Raiders.

She also proposed a second-grade league and a new community cricket underage competition.

Cricket Tasmania chief executive Dominic Baker expected to see movement of players among CTPL clubs once it was known which teams would be playing in the first grade.

A former Exeter High student from Legana, Beams retired from playing last December, having represented Australia's Test, one-day and T20 sides, Victoria and Melbourne Stars. She has since become established as a pundit on ABC Radio.

This story Ashes winner Beams delivers verdict on Tassie cricket first appeared on The Examiner.