Cricket Australia on Friday launched a parental leave policy to support professional cricketers' through pregnancy, adoption, their return to play and parental responsibilities.
The policy entitles players who give birth or adopt to transition into a non-playing role with up to 12 months of paid leave. The policy also guarantees a contract extension in the following year, in line with the contractual arrangements of the players.
Under the policy, players whose partner is pregnant or adopting will be entitled to three weeks of paid leave. For players who are primary carers, travel support, including flights, accommodation and other applicable travel expenses for the child and a carer will be available until the child is four years of age.
The policy came into effect on July 1 and covers Australian players who have state, national or Big Bash contracts.
"The policy is a game changer for players planning for the future while providing job security," Australia cricketer Alyssa Healy was quoted as saying in a CA media release.
"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."
Drew Ginn, the Executive General Manager of High Performance at Cricket Australia, said: "High performance sport is anything but a normal work environment and our policies for our players need to reflect this.
"The job is physical, the hours irregular and 100 percent commitment is expected at all times. This is why we've developed such a tailored policy taking into consideration all player and key stakeholder feedback.
"This policy is the combination of three years of collaboration within Australian Cricket, the ACA and the players, and we're delighted with the outcome," said Clea Smith, General Manager of Member Programs at the Australian Cricketers' Association.
"The policy is designed to keep female players in the game for longer which will have a positive impact at all levels of the game."