The number of Australians playing cricket continued to increase throughout the 2022-23 season with a 5% increase in total registered participation according to the latest Australian Cricket Census.
The Census showed the total number of participants registered in entry-level programs, clubs and other competitions grew from 598,931 to 627,693.
Significantly, there was a 4% increase in the number of participants registered for Woolworths Cricket Blast and Club Cricket from 393,921 to 409,642. These are key priorities for growth in Australian Cricket.
That numbers are gradually returning to the pre-COVID (2019-20) peak of 710,000 was again testament to the unstinting work of community volunteers and club administrators who remain instrumental in growing the game.
The Cricket Census release came during Play Cricket Week when a number of initiatives including elite players connecting with community clubs and local communities will help drive registrations for Woolworths Cricket Blast and Junior Cricket for the coming season.
Significant findings from the Australian Cricket Census included:
Women and Girls registrations in cricket clubs (senior and junior) and Woolworths Cricket Blast increased 26% (from 40,143 to 50,377)
The continued rise in female participation has been driven by the inspiring role models of the world champion Australian women’s team and the WBBL, impactful grassroots programs and the support of partners including CommBank. Girls now constitute more than a quarter (27%) of all Woolworths Cricket Blast registered participants.
Woolworths Cricket Blast registrations increased 24% (from 56,464 to 69,879)
New delivery methods including before/after school programs helped bring more first-timers into the game before a revamp of the Woolworths Cricket Blast program which is expected to further accelerate growth in the entry-level program.
The number of Australian children of South Asian heritage in Woolworths Cricket Blast and junior cricket continued to increase (girls +60%, boys +16%)
Huge attendances at the T20 World Cup highlighted the enormous opportunity for Australian Cricket to embrace the growing South-Asian community. These increases in registered participation highlighted the work being done to ensure cricket programs, community clubs and pathways are inclusive and engaging.
Registered junior club participation remained stable despite a slight decrease in those aged 11 and under from 58,311 to 57,036 (-2%)
The small drop in juniors aged 11 and under reflected the closure of entry-level programs during COVID with less players making the transition to junior cricket. Australian Cricket had identified this likely outcome and has a strategy to double the number of 5 to 12 year-olds playing cricket to ensure future junior and senior registered participation remain strong.
Cricket Australia's General Manager of Community Cricket and Capability, James Allsopp will be available to media upon request. Please contact Richard Hinds (0407 945 586).
James Allsopp, CA General Manager of Community Cricket and Capability said:
“We are absolutely delighted that so many people are playing cricket and that the 2022-23 Cricket Census figures again show the health of the game across Australia remains strong.
“As always, we’re incredibly grateful to the volunteers in clubs, associations and Woolworths Cricket Blast centres who do the hard work required to keep cricket at the heart of their local communities, and also our partners including Woolworths and CommBank.
“It’s particularly pleasing to see so many first-timers signing on for Woolworths Cricket Blast even as we add changes that will make the program even more fun and engaging over the next few years.
“The rise of women’s cricket is one of the great stories in Australian sport and we’re extremely proud that CA’s pioneering investment in the Australian Women’s team and the Weber WBBL has inspired so many young girls to pick up a bat and ball.
“After the huge crowds we saw at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup it is also heartening to see the growth in participation by South Asian communities. This not only highlights how clubs are ensuring they are fully inclusive, but also the fantastic work of those in South-Asian communities who are taking an increasing role in driving the game.
“At the same time, we understand the challenges all sports face to ensure young children continue to take the field in big numbers and we are confident the strategies we have in place will continue to create strong growth in the future.”
KEY FINDINGS FROM THE 2022-23 AUSTRALIAN CRICKET CENSUS
Total Registered Participation: Increased from 598,931 to 627,693 (+5%).
Registered participation in Cricket Clubs (Junior and Senior) and Woolworths Cricket Blast: Increased from 393,921 to 409,642 (+4%).
Registered participation among Women and Girls in Cricket Clubs (senior and junior) and Woolworths Cricket Blast: Increased from 40,143 to 50,377 (+26%).
Kids Aged 5-12: Increased from 116,000 to 129,000 (+11%).
Woolworths Cricket Blast registrations: Increased from 56,464 to 69,879 (+24%).
Junior club cricket registrations: Remained consistent with 108,100 children registered to play.
South-Asian boys and girls aged 5-12 registered for participation: Girls +60%, Boys +16%.