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Record numbers playing cricket
The Australian Cricket Census has revealed that a record 951,933 participants played cricket at local grounds, schools and indoor centres across Australia in 2012/13.
The overall national growth of 8.2% is underpinned by significant growth in female, club cricket and entry-level participation.
In the shadow of the recent success of the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars, female participation grew a further 18.8% to 178,416. Females now make up almost 19% of cricket's participants – and the number of female participants has more than doubled in the last four years.
After a small dip last year, club cricket rebounded with a growth of almost 2% (1.7%), with 318,830 participants across 577 associations and 3,737 clubs.
Entry-level participation grew by a sensational 47.9%, while indoor cricket numbers remain strong at 177,962.
Welcoming the rise, Cricket Australia Chief Executive James Sutherland stated "Australian cricket has enjoyed another year of increased participation, contributing to the overall health of the game.
"The significant entry-level growth shows that Australian kids have a passion for cricket and our junior programs are attracting them to our game.
"Translating this first taste of cricket into ongoing participation is a primary focus of Australian cricket in our strategic goal to reach 1.2 million participants by 2015.
"We are also incredibly pleased that our female participation numbers and club cricket numbers have recorded strong growth. Increased female participation enhances cricket's standing as a sport for all Australians. Meanwhile club cricket continues to be the heart and soul of our game."
Australian cricket's strategy to create ongoing participation will be strengthened by the full national rollout of the MILO T20 Blast program in 2013. The program acts as a bridge between entry-level (MILO in2CRICKET) and club participation enabling kids to further enhance their skills and develop game sense in a fun and dynamic environment.
Cricket Australia has also unveiled a new online information resource, which is designed to encourage participation in cricket at all levels. People interested in playing cricket can click on the link below and find out more about the sport and how they can get involved.
Cricket Australia Executive General Manager Game and Market Development Andrew Ingleton added "cricket is the ultimate Australian activity that brings people together and PlayCricket is about inspiring all Australians to get involved, no matter who you are, where you've come from or whether you've ever picked up a bat or ball.
"At www.playcricket.com.au, people can find out all they need to know about how to get involved with cricket. From junior participation, to veterans leagues to new short format options, the website will put people in touch with clubs and indoor cricket centres that offer the type of cricket they're looking for – relevant to their location."
Further growth in cricket's participation numbers is anticipated following back-to-back Ashes series for the men's team, an Ashes contest for the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars and a successful Australian Open Indoor Championships.
Background to the Australian Cricket Census
The 2012-13 Australian Cricket Census is the 11th analysis of cricket participation.
A 'participant' is defined by the Australian Cricket Census as someone who participates in at least four sessions of a formal cricket program.
The 2012-13 census has been compiled by specialist researcher Street Ryan, with the cooperative efforts of Cricket Australia and each of the eight state and territory cricket associations.
The organisations are responsible for recording the number of programs, teams and registered players within their state/territory for each cricket program area.
Cricket Australia's junior participation programs are supported by Nestlé and the Australian Government via the Australian Sports Commission. The Government support aims to get children healthy and active through participation in sport.
For more information go to www.playcricket.com.au
31st July 2013 - MCG TO HOST 2015 WORLD CUP CRICKET FINAL
13th May 2013 - NEW CRICKET CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE CLOSE TO COMPLETION
23rd August 2012 - CRICKET AUSTRALIA APPROVES NEW GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE
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