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Merger with WCA a major step forward: ACB

Published: Thursday, July 3, 2003, 21:26 [IST]
 
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'Female participation in cricket is growing rapidly' The Australian Cricket Board (ACB) on Tuesday announced the permanent integration of women's cricket into its structure after a successful two-year trial period. A Women's Cricket Association (WCA) special general meeting on 20 June saw a unanimous vote to formalise the integration of the ACB and WCA. The decision marks a significant moment for women's cricket in Australia, guaranteeing the security and strength of the game for female players. The official integration symbolically commenced on Tuesday July 1; the same day the ACB becomes Cricket Australia. ACB chief executive officer James Sutherland said the decision to officially unite men's and women's cricket under one umbrella was a major step forward for the game. "As we identified several years ago, having two separate organisations performing similar roles in trying to build and strengthen the game was actually working against cricket," said Mr Sutherland. "The ACB and WCA agreed in 2001 to establish a trial integration period to make sure we could achieve more efficient operations and improve the overall health of the game." "Female participation in cricket is growing rapidly and we recognise the importance and challenge of building the game further for this group." "Initiatives like the CricHit program for young girls, the inclusion of a women's clinic at the Imparja Cup and the women's cricket leadership forum in Darwin last week highlight some achievements that have resulted from the integration." "There are numerous advantages to working as one unit for the benefit of cricket and we are entirely committed to consolidating our work efforts toward the common goal of attracting, retaining and supporting these players," said Mr Sutherland. Under the trial association period, women's cricket has benefited from increased access to: a. Funding to stage cricket matches and events; b. Resources to help plan and implement game development initiatives at all levels; and c. Links to ACB staff, networks and suppliers to support the activities and initiatives. Australian women's captain Belinda Clark said the trial integration showed what could be achieved by joining operations. "Over the past two years, women's cricket has further advanced and moved closer to realising its growth potential with greater resources and funding in place at all levels," said Clark. "At the elite end, it has allowed us to capitalise on playing opportunities. We have been able to access resources and support and earlier this year it helped us stage a Test series at home for the first time in seven years," said Clark. Other benefits of the permanent integration will ensure greater: a. Certainty in developing a forward program of elite competition at senior and youth levels; b. Communication at Board level through a special women's cricket reference group comprising key stakeholders to address strategic issues; c. Links to strengthening the high performance aspect, including incorporating women's cricket programs into the ACB's Centre of Excellence plans; and d. Resources devoted to conducting reviews and research into club, community, school and grassroots systems for female players. The official union of men's and women's cricket also brings several changes to help align Australia's elite teams. The national sides will share a logo reserved for this level of competition, with a colour ribbon beneath the coat of arms (red for men and yellow for women) the only differentiating feature. A new baggy green cap with the coat of arms will be created for the Australian women's team, the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars, to match the Australian men's team. Immediate effects of the permanent integration include: a. Voluntarily dissolving WCA - the independent body that previously administered women's cricket in Australia; b. Abolishing the Women's Cricket Advisory Committee (WCAC) - the group formed in 2001 to oversee the trial integration process and manage operational issues; and c. The rollover of WCA assets - frozen during the trial period - to the ACB. Mr Sutherland paid tribute to the many people who have played a role in the administration of women's cricket over many decades. "As we strive to strengthen women's cricket in Australia, we acknowledge the previous work, dedication and service by the many contributors to our game." "I also congratulate Ms Quentin Bryce for her leadership in driving the integration process over the past few years." Ms Bryce AC, was the president of the WCA and chairperson of the WCAC. She completes her long association with women's cricket administration and begins her new role as Queensland Governor after being appointed to the position earlier this year. There are more than 200,000 schoolgirls who participate in MILO Cricket development programs and 50,000 females playing club cricket across Australia. © 2003 Australian Cricket Board Courtesy: Bronwyn Calver
Women's Cricket Update

Extras:
Permanent integration of women's cricket with ACB

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