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Australian Cricket releases 2020-21 Press for Progress report

Australian Cricket releases 2020-21 Press for Progress report
Australian Cricket releases 2020-21 Press for Progress report
©Cricket Australia

Australian Cricket has today released the fourth edition of the Press for Progress report ahead of the historic Commonwealth Bank day-night Test between Australia and India.

The Press for Progress Report reflects Australian Cricket’s commitment to being openly accountable in its progression towards becoming Australia’s leading sport for women and girls.

The 2020-21 season was one of cricket’s most challenging seasons to date with the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic causing disruption across many areas of the game.

Although the pandemic halted some of the planned activity, insights across the five pillars – Leadership, Participation, Pathway, Elite and Fans - from the 2020-21 report include:

  • There are more women in CEO roles across Australian Cricket with Olivia Thornton (Cricket ACT CEO), Michelle Enright (ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Australia 2022 Local Organising Committee CEO) and Jodie Newton (SACA Acting CEO) joining Christina Matthews (WA Cricket CEO) across the season. Although there has been progression at CEO level, there is still a need to improve leadership and development opportunities for women at an executive and management level.
  • Despite the pandemic impacting registered participation due to the cancellation of tournaments and leagues, Australian Cricket saw a 27.4% increase in girls’ participation in Woolworths Cricket Blast, with girls now accounting for more than one in five children in the program.
  • In a COVID world where many sports were rescheduled, the second standalone Women’s Big Bash League was delivered in full, with the league holding its place as the fourth most-watched domestic league in Australia.
  • The Australian Women’s Team successfully hosted New Zealand, the first cricket team to tour Australia since the start of the pandemic. In return, the team travelled to New Zealand, where they inspired the country by breaking the record for most consecutive ODI wins in the history of the women’s and men’s game.
  • While women and girls attendance at women’s internationals and WBBL increased, there was a decrease in women’s attendance at the more crowded men’s matches. This reinforces the importance of understanding the interests of women and girls as sports fans and fans interested in the women’s game.
  • With a focus on delivering the international and domestic season, 2020-21 was a challenging year for Australian Cricket’s pathway programs with all underage National Championships being postponed.
  • Cricket Australia’s Chief Executive Officer Nick Hockley acknowledged the importance of transparency and being openly accountable in cricket’s progression towards a gender equal future.

“In what was a challenging year for everyone, Australian Cricket maintained its focus on growing the game for women and girls,” Hockley said.

“We have seen what is possible through the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Final in March 2020, and now more than ever, it is important for us to keep pushing for equality in cricket and continue to accelerate the momentum we established before the pandemic.

“In the short-term, we are incredibly excited for the remainder of the Commonwealth Bank Women’s Series between Australia and India with the historic day-night Test and T20 internationals to come.

“The series will be followed by another full Weber Women’s Big Bash League season. Fans across the country are set to be entertained with more games than ever being televised across Seven and Foxtel.

“We also look forward to a big year in 2022 with the Australian Women’s Team taking part in The Ashes, the ICC Women’s World Cup and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

“As our elite cricketers continue to inspire the nation on the field, we will be working hard off the field to ensure more women and girls are picking up a bat and ball, that we continue to develop our female leaders and that we drive for gender equality in all that we do.”

Champions of Change Founder Elizabeth Broderick AO welcomed the release of Australian Cricket’s Press for Progress report.

“As we all know, last year was a very challenging year for many sporting codes around the world. It is pleasing to see cricket’s transparency through the Press for Progress report which is really important as we all work together towards a gender equal future for sport,” Broderick said.

“I thank all CEOs of Australian Cricket for their commitment to being openly accountable and for showing leadership in driving change.”

The release of the Press for Progress report comes ahead of the Commonwealth Bank day-night Test between Australia and India which begins on Thursday, September 30.

Official Cricket Australia Website