Cricket Australia vision is unity through cricket

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Cricket Australia’s CEO James Sutherland at the Sydney Cricket Ground addressing media representatives about the strategies to engage multicultural communities in cricket

By Vijay Badhwar

In a drive to engage the multicultural community into cricket, Cricket Australia unveiled its vision on January 9, Day 4 of the last Australia-India Test that recently concluded in Sydney. In the company of cricket stars, Lisa Sthalakar and Usman Khawaja, both of Indian subcontinent heritage, Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland outlined the National Multicultural Cricket Strategy ”˜to broaden cricket reach in the country to make it an Australian favourite sport and a sport for all Australians’.

“We have strong claims that cricket is Australia’s favourite sport with the best viewer hours and participation numbers that are diverse and increasing. But we are not complacent,” he said.

“We are aware that the face of Australia is changing and we have to have strategies in place to make it a favourite sport that appeals to everyone. We have to establish a framework for engagement and make it accessible for everyone. We don’t want it to be only a male-dominated sport. We don’t want it to be a sport that is labelled as a sport only for white Anglo males. We have to provide access for everyone ”“ women, indigenous Australians and the large multicultural community,” Mr Sutherland said.

James Sutherland has a vision that cricket can unite the nation and the strategy is for cricket to be a force for positive social change. The framework has to be complementary to Cricket Australia’s broad strategies in engaging with the multicultural community as it is recognised that in the changing cultural mosaic more than one in four Australians is born overseas, he said.

The National Community Engagement Framework comprises four customised strategies to further increase female, indigenous, multicultural, and All-Abilities participation, as well as a range of initiatives, including the A Sport For All resource, designed to make cricket more welcoming and inclusive at all levels.

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