Cricket Australia to invest $4 million to promote women's cricket
Cricket Australia (CA) thrives on being at the forefront of innovation and development in the world of cricket and it comes as no surprise that they recently announced that they will invest a massive $4 million into women's cricket. The huge investment comes on the back of the success of the inaugural Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) in 2015 – 2016 that enjoyed a lot of success. The cricketing board were encouraged by the signs of crowd participation and have decided to heavily back the women.
This is the second boost for women’s cricket in Australia. In April, it was announced that CA will increase its female player payment pool from $2.36 million to $4.23 million, with maximum retainers for the Southern Stars rising from $49,000 to $65,000. "Cricket is a sport for all Australians and Cricket Australia will continue to invest heavily in the women's game in the coming years," CA CEO James Sutherland had said at that stage.
The $4 million investment will be broken up into 4 installments of $1 million each year. Half of the money will be poured into cricket clubs, associations and secondary schools through the newly instituted Growing Cricket for Girls Fund. The Fund will be used to grow competition in girls aged between 11 – 18 and provide them plenty of opportunity to harness their skills. The other half will be used to employ full-time specialists that will aid the schools and associations in producing the best results.
James Sutherland, who has a daughter playing in the boys’ side said he wanted to provide opportunities for girls to play in all-girl teams if they wished to do so, rather than being forced to play with boys. The Fund would be used to create more compeititions and more all girls teams that can compete against each other.
"It is an important point … where we want to get to with women's cricket and girls' cricket is having opportunities where there are enough girls to make up a team and girls feel really comfortable in the cricket environment. That's where these new competitions and the approach that clubs take to provide opportunities for girls and make them feel comfortable in that environment ... is where we're going to take the next step as a sport for all." he said.
Certainly exciting times for cricket in Australia with this announcement.