Australian cricketers to receive paid maternity leave as part of new parental policy

Australia's ODI side recently claimed a 3-0 series whitewash over Sri Lanka (PA Images)
Australia's ODI side recently claimed a 3-0 series whitewash over Sri Lanka (PA Images)
15:30pm, Fri 11 Oct 2019
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Australia's cricketers can now receive paid maternity leave for the first time, thanks to a new parental policy being unveiled tomorrow.

The progressive change was actually implemented in July, but the official announcement is now scheduled to be made following the Aussies' set of matches in the UK, Caribbean and Sri Lanka.

Alyssa Healy, who recently broke the record for the highest score in a women's T20 match with 148, recalls the issues her teammate Sarah Elliott had when she gave birth.

She said: "Times have changed and I remember touring back in the UK on my first Ashes trip overseas and Sarah Elliott at the time was breastfeeding in the change-room at the lunch breaks of a Test match because she'd just had a baby.

"Fortunately her husband could tour with her at the time. But here I was, a really young naive cricketer sitting in the change-room next to someone who was breastfeeding and caring for a child while she was making a 100 in a Test match."

The policy includes binary and same-sex couples, as well as those who adopt or take children into foster care.

It also accounts for compassionate leave if someone suffers a miscarriage or stillbirth.

Meanwhile, kids under the age of four will be given provisions to join their parent(s) while they are on tour, with Australian cricket grounds also having to guarantee a safe space for breastfeeding.

Healy is married to Australian men's cricketer Mitchell Starc, but believes it may still be some time before the two decide to have children.

"Looking ahead is something we do quite regularly," Healy added.

"Down the track we'd obviously love to have kids and would love to be able to set ourselves up now so that once we do retire we can provide a really good life for those around us whether that be kids or family.

"A lot of my friends from school are having babies or have got young kids at the moment … but the way the women's game is right now, it's motivating me to potentially play a little bit longer than what I always dreamed of."

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