Former Australian and NSW Breakers player Leah Poulton has been appointed to the new role of Head of Female Cricket at Cricket NSW.
The new role forms part of the restructure to the Cricket NSW High Performance department that aligns the Male and Female pathways.
In an exciting development for Cricket NSW, Poulton, as Head of Female Cricket, will integrate the different arms of female performance to ensure that all work together to run athlete-centred programs.
“Cricket NSW has been a big part of my life for the past 20 years. It feels great to be coming home,” Poulton said.
“NSW has an amazing history of innovation and success, I’m looking forward to working with our staff, athletes and communities to ensure we continue this great history.”
A four-time Belinda Clark Medal winner with the NSW Breakers, 36-year-old Poulton has resigned her positions as Cricket Australia’s women’s high-performance coach and WBBL Head Coach at the Melbourne Stars.
She has been an integral part of the Cricket Australia High Performance Female Program.
“Working for Cricket Australia over the past three years has been the highlight of my professional career,” Poulton said.
“I’m extremely proud of the programs and structures we’ve built and take great satisfaction in knowing young female cricketers have never been better placed to fulfil their potential.”
She was also appointed Stars WBBL coach last month.
“While it’s not ideal to accept a position and move on so quickly, the Head of Female Cricket role at Cricket NSW was too great an opportunity to pass up,” Poulton said.
“I’d like to thank the Stars for everything over the past couple of months.”
She was assistant coach at the Sydney Thunder when they won the first WBBL title in 2015/16 not long after retiring from the game.
After retirement, Poulton stayed involved with Cricket NSW as the Female Pathway Manager then Breakers assistant coach before moving to the Cricket Australia Centre of Excellence full-time.
Poulton was also assistant to Sixers WBBL head coach Ben Sawyer during the past two seasons.
Cricket NSW CEO Lee Germon said the role of Female Head of Cricket provides a much-needed strategic focus on Women’s cricket.
“NSW has been very successful in women’s cricket, from pathways through to the Breakers, however we are aware that the level of cricket has improved significantly across the country,” said Germon.
“Leah, with her experience and exceptional skill set, will inspire and drive a high performing culture that helps us deliver successful, respected and inspiring New South Wales players and teams, including our Sixers and Thunder WBBL sides.
“With her unique mix of pathway development and high performance success, Leah will provide leadership that is imperative to enable us to continue to develop outstanding young cricketers who become great NSW and Australian players.”