Australia sets out targets in 10-year plan to boost women's game

Australia has invested heavily in women's cricket over the past decade

By Reuters

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Australia's cricket superstar Ellyse Perry. — Reuters
Australia's cricket superstar Ellyse Perry. — Reuters

Published: Tue 30 Apr 2024, 8:16 PM

Cricket Australia (CA) are targeting a five-fold increase in average attendances at women's matches and quadrupling participation rates among young girls as part of a 10-year plan for the women's game.

The governing body will also launch a new domestic T20 competition while reducing the existing Women's Big Bash League (WBBL) to a 40-game season, which will bring it in line with the men's BBL.

Australia has invested heavily in women's cricket over the past decade, with the fruits seen in the nation's dominance of global events.

However, women's cricket generates just 5% of the sport's total revenue in the country amid rising competition for global talent in T20 franchise leagues overseas.

CA's "Women and Girls Action Plan" launched on Tuesday will seek to address those issues by boosting annual revenues to A$121 million ($79.39 million) by 2034, an increase of A$100 million on current levels.

CA are also seeking to boost annual average attendance for women's cricket to 600,000 by 2034, up from about 120,000 last season.

The 10-year plan also calls for boosting participation among girls aged five to 12 to 100,000 from 25,000, investing A$500 million in infrastructure and achieving a target of 40% female representation in key positions in administration.

"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 ... and ultimately that more women and girls are inspired to love and play cricket," CA boss Nick Hockley said in a news release.

CA said it would launch a new state-based T20 competition to complement the WBBL without providing dates or details.

This will lift the average women's domestic player salary to A$163,322 for 2024-25, up 8% on the previous season, the board said.

The WBBL, meanwhile, will be reduced in a bid to appeal to overseas players whose opportunities to play franchise T20 cricket have grown rapidly in recent years.

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