Former England captain Charlotte Edwards says there has never been a better time to be female cricketer.
Edwards has just taken over as Hampshire’s director of women’s cricket – only the second woman in such a role after Surrey’s Ebony Rainford-Brent.
England won last year’s World Cup, while this summer’s Kia Super League will return for an expanded third year.
There are also plans for a T20 franchise tournament from 2020 to run alongside a proposed new men’s event.
“There’s no better time to be a female cricketer,” she told BBC Sport.
“What a message to give to these young girls now that they can be a professional cricketer, something I could have only dreamed of when I was growing up.”
Since retiring from international cricket in 2016 Edwards has completed her coaching qualifications and captained Southern Vipers to the finals of the first two Kia Super League tournaments – winning the inaugural event in 2016.
Three women – Heather Knight, Natalie Sciver and Anya Shrubsole – were named among Wisden’s five Cricketers of the Year earlier this month.
Edwards says it shows how the recognition of the women’s game has increased in recent years on the back of two World Cup wins, a World Twenty20 victory in 2009 and an increased profile of events such as the women’s Ashes.
“To think that two players had been named previously in however many years, and then you’ve got three in one year just says it all really,” the 38-year-old added.
“Last summer really did change the landscape of women’s cricket, certainly in this country.
“It’s an unbelievable achievement and fully deserved in terms of their recognition and I know the rest of the team have to take a lot of the credit as well.
“It’s a great time to be involved in women’s cricket, there’s so much happening, not just in England but across the world.”