CRICKET: Women's cricket has come so far in such a short period of time that the face of the Brisbane Heat didn't even know it existed six years ago.
Heat pace bowler Holly Ferling was dominating South Burnett men's cricket in 2009 in her early teens, taking a hat-trick with her first three deliveries in the men's competition.
It's been a whirlwind six years since for Ferling because, while still only 19, she is now the face of the Heat's inagural Women's Big Bash League team.
"When I first started playing I had no idea women's cricket existed," Ferling told APN as Queensland-based healthcare company Epic Pharmacy signed on as a major sponsor.
"To now go along to clinics and be a part of all the development, and hear young girls saying they want to play for the Southern Stars, the Brisbane Heat or Queensland Fire - I had no idea about all that when I was their age."
Ferling admitted this inaugural season of the Women's Big Bash League competition would be a make or break one for women's cricket as it attempted to reach out to a larger audience.
Eight WBBL matches - including the competition final - will be broadcast live on Network Ten's digital channel ONE.
"We all know that if we don't produce entertaining games on TV it won't go ahead," Ferling said.
"That's just the harsh reality of women's sport.
"(But) we've got English, South African and West Indian internationals coming over - it's all happening."
The Heat - bolstered by English internationals Kate Cross and Lauren Winfield - will begin its WBBL campaign against the Stars at Junction Oval in Melbourne on December 5.
Meanwhile, the Queensland Fire stepped out to open its WNCL campaign against Victoria at Allan Border Field today.
The team will also play the ACT at Allan Border Field tomorrow, and Tasmania at the Gabba on Monday.
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