CA launches new plan to push up women & girls Cricket

MELBOURNE, April 30, 2024: Cricket Australia (CA) has launched its ‘Women and Girls Action Plan’ to keep cricket at the forefront of the women’s sports revolution by driving significant increases in participation, audiences, commercial revenue and representation over the next ten years. The plan was today launched at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) by Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley.

The plan is to have increased investment in female-friendly infrastructure, grassroots programs, player payments and competitions and pathways are key features of the plan which has set bold targets to enhance all aspects of cricket for women and girls. There will be a major focus on filling stadiums and growing viewing audiences for women’s internationals and the WBBL and creating more playing opportunities and higher player payments.

As a result, the WBBL will feature a 40-game regular season (in line with the BBL) and a new domestic women’s T20 competition will be introduced creating additional high-performance opportunities for domestic players.

The new T20 competition will raise the average female domestic player salary for 2024-25 – inclusive of WBBL contract, State/Territory contract and domestic match payments – to $163,322, an increase of $12,303 (8%) on 2023-24, while the current WBBL salary cap will be maintained meaning no reduction in player payments, says the plan.

The new structure for Weber WBBL|10 and beyond, the plan envisages, will ensure enhanced scheduling and player availability, delivering a better competition for fans locally and globally. As in recent seasons, every match will be televised, including 20 simulcast on Foxtel/Kayo Sports and Seven with an additional 20 matches shown exclusively on Foxtel/Kayo Sports, with both Seven and Foxtel/Kayo Sports broadcasting the three finals.

The Women and Girls Action Plan builds on the many initiatives already undertaken to propel the growth of cricket at all levels and draws on key data and the experience and expertise of some of Australian cricket’s most prominent players and leaders.

India-born all rounder, Hasrat Gill, who is in the under-19 Australian Cricket team is excited about the ‘Women and Girls Action Plan’:

Participation, Representation, High Performance, Fandom and Commercial are the five areas identified where the growth of the women’s game can be enhanced and accelerated.

The plan includes clear goals to be reached by 2034 including:

• 600,000 average annual attendance for all women’s cricket in Australia.
• Growing total revenue from women’s cricket to $121 million (an increase of $100 million).
• Increasing participation by 5–12-year-old girls from 25,000 to 100,000.
• $500 million invested in infrastructure for women and girls’ cricket.
• At least 40% female representation in key positions across Australian Cricket (including executives, boards and community cricket roles).
• Winning gold medals at the 2028 and 2032 Olympics.

Ellyse Perry, Australian player said, “Sport at its very best is fully inclusive and it’s been a great privilege to collaborate with some of the best leaders in Australian sport on a plan that will ensure more women and girls are involved in cricket in every role.

“Australian Cricket has been at the forefront of the growth in women’s sport providing some of the best opportunities for players with resourcing and remuneration and it’s reassuring to know this commitment will not only be sustained, but greatly enhanced over the next ten years.

Photo- SAT/NN.

Nick Hockley, CA Chief Executive Officer said, ““Building on its long and proud history, the growth of cricket as a sport for women and girls over the past decade is one of the great success stories of Australian sport and we are confident this action plan will provide the focus and energy to ensure we accelerate cricket’s leadership position.

“There is so much more opportunity and work to be done to ensure big crowds in big stadiums more often, that our incredible role models are given the profile they deserve, that all facets of the game are gender balanced, that through imaginative partnerships we drive commercial growth, sustainable investment and ultimately that more women and girls are inspired to love and play cricket.

“Thank you to everyone across the game who has contributed to the development of the action plan. I am so excited to work together to bring it to life.”

Read here: WOMEN AND GIRLS ACTION PLAN

 

By Neeraj Nanda

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