Australia's Alyssa Healy praises 'game changing' maternity leave

Cricket Australia
The initiative was launched on Friday following a two-year consultation process

Cricket Australia has introduced maternity leave for the first time in an initiative launched alongside the Australian Cricketers' Association.

Players with state, national or Big Bash contracts who give birth or adopt will be given up to 12 months of paid parental leave.

It guarantees players a contract extension for the following year, plus other benefits and support until the child is four years old.

The policy came into effect on 1 July.

It also gives three weeks of paid leave to anyone whose partner is pregnant or adopting.

Speaking at the launch in Sydney on Friday, Australian wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy said: "As a player, I'm proud to be part of a game with such a comprehensive and fit-for-purpose parental leave policy.

"With the playing and travel demands on cricketers, I'm pleased this policy provides support to players, so if they choose to, can both care for their child and participate in the game.

"Seeing friends and family raise children, I know the physical and emotional toll parenting can have.

"The policy is a game changer for players planning for the future while providing job security."

Former Australia star Sarah Elliott - part of the consultation process which began in 2017 - returned to international cricket after giving birth in 2013, and scored a Test century against England while breastfeeding her nine-month-old son during breaks in play.

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