Multicultural Action Plan for Australian Cricket

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MultiCultural Action Plan 2023-2027




Executive Summary


The Action Plan


How We Will Get There


Multicultural Communities in Australia


The State of Play


Progress to Date


The Consultation Process


Who We Spoke To






High Performance


People and Administration


Communications and Engagement


Events and Experience

A SPORT FOR ALL This Multicultural Action Plan is built on insights from hundreds of hours of research and engagement across the community. We wanted to ensure we understood what matters most to multicultural communities, with an initial focus on South Asian communities. In developing the Action Plan, we have also been guided by the excellent work previously undertaken in this area. Over the years, there have been several important initiatives to improve the experience of multicultural communities which have helped increase inclusion at all levels of cricket. It is wonderful to see the increasing diversity in cricket teams, clubs and stadiums across the country. That said, we acknowledge that we have lots more work to do to be genuinely representative of the community we serve which is why we are making this a priority.

I am delighted to introduce our Multicultural Action Plan. This plan is one of four complimentary action plans to support the implementation of the Australian Cricket Strategic Plan “Where the Game Grows”. As well as being home to the world’s oldest continuous cultures, we are fortunate that Australia is such a vibrant, diverse and multicultural country. It is also a sports loving country in which more than 90% of adults have an interest in sport and about 13 million adults and 3 million children take part in sport each year. Nelson Mandela famously said that sport, “…has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.” That is certainly true of cricket, Australia’s national sport, where our shared love of the game helps build relationships, cultural understanding and strengthens communities. I have been privileged to experience this first-hand, whether playing for my first cricket club West Bromwich Dartmouth in Birmingham UK, where many of my teammates were from Indian or Pakistani heritage, or working on the three World Cups that Australian Cricket has hosted in the last ten years. With strong support from multicultural communities across Australia, many World Cup matches have felt like home games for visiting teams – who can forget the atmosphere when over 92,000 passionate cricket fans packed the MCG for India v Pakistan at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. Then there is the warm welcome and friendship Australian teams receive on tours of the subcontinent, including recent tours of Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India.

The result of the research and engagement is an Action Plan comprising a set of ten simple and pragmatic, yet high-impact actions to provide focus and accelerate progress. We acknowledge that communities across Australia each have their own local needs and that it is not a one size fits all, but we hope that with these actions and by working together across Australian Cricket we can accelerate the speed of positive change. A huge thank you to everyone who has contributed to this Action Plan and to all the players, match officials, coaches, volunteers, clubs, associations and staff across Australian Cricket for your work in bringing it to life. We are particularly grateful to those across our wonderful multicultural communities who have engaged in open and honest conversations to share their experiences. Sincere thanks also to the Australian Government for their generous support through the Major Event Legacy Fund and to all our government and commercial partners for your invaluable support. This plan is part of a journey, and the real work starts now! Above all we want to ensure that everyone feels welcome as part of Australian Cricket. I look forward to reporting on our progress as we implement the Action Plan. I also welcome and encourage further feedback from the Australian Cricket community as we strive to achieve our vision to be a sport for all. Thank you.

Nick Hockley Chief Executive Cricket Australia

To represent Australia is a source of immense pride for us and, we hope, for members of the growing South Asian communities across the country. It’s heartening to see that the number of kids from South Asian communities playing cricket in entry-level programs and junior competitions, and making their way through elite cricket pathways, is rapidly increasing. We want these kids to aspire to follow in our footsteps knowing that their hard work, dedication and skill will be fully recognised and rewarded as their careers progress.

Encouraging more members of South Asian communities to become club volunteers, administrators and coaches to achieve greater representation in these roles at all levels is an important part of our plan.. Creating a sense of ownership and belonging, this will help us to increase participation in clubs and produce more elite players. We look forward to being part of this significant initiative and seeing Australian Cricket successfully deliver this plan to help the game grow and prosper in South Asian communities.

We are delighted that Australian Cricket has formulated this Action Plan to ensure the great love of cricket by South Asian communities in Australia is fully reflected across our sport – with every player welcomed and represented, from community games on local parks to major matches in our greatest stadiums.

Alana King and Usman Khawaja Australian Cricket players and leaders

executive summary As part of the Australian Cricket Strategic Plan 2022-2027, we have outlined our commitment to strengthening our position as a sport for all.

This action plan, one of four outlined in the strategic plan, provides further clarity on the actions we will take to enhance inclusion in the game for the multicultural communities of Australia.

MULTICULTURAL INCLUSION IS INTEGRAL TO AUSTRALIAN CRICKET As the fastest growing demographic of Australia over the last ten years, Australians of South Asian cultural background now equate for over 6% of the population. Hailing from traditional cricket loving countries, this community is highly invested in the sport, yet are not always equally represented. While our research outlined in Section 1 has shown there are areas where great progress has been made, we know there is work to do to ensure that Australian Cricket is as inclusive as it can be.

WE HAVE ENGAGED DEEPLY ACROSS THE COMMUNITY TO DEVELOP OUR ACTION PLAN Through engagement with thousands of members of the Australian Cricket community, we have developed a comprehensive fact-based understanding of the challenges and opportunities that remain for South Asian Australians. The robust process highlighted in Section 2 has given us the confidence that the actions we propose will be successful and have a lasting impact for years to come.

THE ACTION PLAN OUTLINES 10 CLEAR INITIATIVES TO ENHANCE ENGAGEMENT AND INCLUSION FOR PEOPLE OF ALL CULTURAL BACKGROUNDS Section 3 outlines the 10 points that form our Multicultural Action Plan in detail. The 10 actions are split across 5 key areas and have been rigorously tested with thousands of members of the South Asian community, and Australian Cricket experts and representatives alike.

OUR OBJECTIVES Our core objectives are to:



We want to create more opportunities for multicultural members of the community to engage with cricket, whether playing, attending games, or following the sport. We also want to create more opportunities to pursue leadership roles.

Identify and understand what barriers exist for multicultural members of the community across cricket, before developing a clear plan to overcome these through dedicated actions and leadership through implementation.



We will build stronger, trust-based relationships across multicultural communities, acknowledging where things can be better and taking meaningful action. To do this, we will work with our commercial and government partners to enrich the experience of multicultural communities.

Through this action plan, we will further position cricket as a vehicle of social cohesion to unite and inspire all Australians, identifying more ways to bring communities of all diverse backgrounds together.

The Action plan OUR KEY ACTIONS 01.

Bespoke social cricket programs, products and tournaments

02. Community Coach

and volunteer leadership program

03. Working with foundations

04. Elite coach and

05. South Asian mentoring

06. Cultural awareness

07. New multicultural

08. Engage new media

09. New cultural festivals


and partners to enhance Talent Pathways

and leadership program

ambassador program

and enhanced match experience

umpire bursary scheme

and unconscious bias training

channels with positive storytelling More personalised engagement through enhanced data capability






Feel proud and represented by the national teams that take to the field

Are supported to achieve their full potential, no matter their background

Are energised by their role and supported to fulfill their aspirations

Cricket as their sport of choice, supporting national and WBBL and BBL teams year round

We will continue to invest significantly to ensure we enhance the experience of those of culturally diverse backgrounds within Australian Cricket.


The Action Plan will be boosted by more than $4 million in Australian Government funding from the ICC T20 World Cup Legacy Fund. This will be used over the next two years to accelerate our existing efforts..



Registered participants from South Asian cultural backgrounds by 2027



Double the number of players of South Asian cultural backgrounds playing in first-class teams and WBBL and BBL by 2027



Growth and development related engagement metrics for Australian Cricket employees identifying as coming from diverse cultural backgrounds are the same as for all employees by 2027



NPS for Cricket as a sport from fans of a South Asian cultural background



Attendees to matches in Australia of a South Asian cultural background on average each season



Are encouraged to play an active role in their clubs and take on committee roles

Play the game when and how they want, knowing they are welcome and supported

WOMEN AND GIRLS Feel cricket is the best sport for them, whether playing, attending or following

PARTNERS Share our commitment to delivering a sport for all, and support our communities




Pilot of bespoke programs and social cricket in most impactful locations Launch of new community club coach and volunteer program, with first applications for funding received

High performance system education and further engagement with players of South Asian cultural background Launch scholarship program

Unconscious bias training designed and delivered across Cricket Australia

Multicultural ambassador program formally established and launched


Multicultural media engaged and partnered with to promote summer of cricket, with a high focus on the Men’s Big Bash and NRMA Insurance Test Series against Pakistan

Fan festival to be included in NRMA Boxing Day Test event to celebrate multicultural community





Further roll out of bespoke programs and tournaments, with state specific approaches dependent on the participants in their regions

Review success of social formats and grants, and enhance and continue those having the biggest impact as part of ‘business as usual’ programs

Support pilot South Asian player talent camp with foundations and partners

Implement additional changes to high performance system in umpiring and coaching in response to further research and consultation

Enhanced talent identification system in place across High Performance network

Unconscious bias training program updated and adjusted to be rolled out across the remainder of Australian Cricket administrators Launch of South Asian leadership program across Australian Cricket

Deliver an integrated South Asian brand strategy, including showcasing positive news stories and building strong long-term relationships with South Asian audiences

Cultural festivals and special experiences delivered alongside NRMA Insurance Men’s Test Series against India

Support community clubs with training materials and guides to improve inclusive behaviours at all levels

Multichannel engagement in place, combining the efforts of the ambassador program, SQUADS and media channels to deliver comprehensive engagement each season, regardless of touring teams

Ingrained consideration of South Asian communities and their specific cultural preferences as a core attendees across all elite cricket Enhanced data and analytics capabilities embedded to allow personalisation for fans and attendees

01 Background AND context

Multicultural communities in Australia 48.5%

Multicultural communities, particularly those from South Asian cultural backgrounds, are among the fastest growing populations in Australia. Based on the Australian Census 2021, just under 30% of the Australian population were born overseas, and around one in two have at least one parent born overseas. This equates to around 12.3m multicultural people in Australia and demonstrates the huge potential for our sport. The fastest growing demographic are those of South Asian heritage. These communities from traditional cricket-loving regions are integral to the future of Australian Cricket and their inclusion and engagement is a key priority to grow the game.

of the total population of Australia are multicultural in 2021

1.1M Australians in 2021 were born in South Asia, just over 4% of the total population












Sri Lanka


















One or more parent born overseas

2021 census

NT 61% QLD 43%

NSW 54%

WA 59%

SA 46%

VIC 55%

ACT 53%

TAS 29%


147k Melbourne South East, VIC


45k Australian Capital Territory, ACT


138k Melbourne West, VIC


36k Sydney south West, NSW


101k Sydney Blacktown, NSW


35k Sydney Baulkham Hills, NSW


93k Sydney Parramatta, NSW


35k Adelaide Inner, VIC


57k Perth South East, WA


33k Melbourne Inner, VIC


57k Sydney Inner South West, NSW


33k Brisbane South, QLD


54k Melbourne North West, VIC


32k Sydney Outer South West, NSW


51k Melbourne North East, VIC

Multicultural communities are spread all across Australia, highlighting how widespread the opportunity for cricket could be

South Asian communities are also well spread, predominately in urban areas, but focusing on these 15 locations covers 62% of the South Asian population



RAPID MIGRATION FROM INDIA TO AUSTRALIA Throughout the last decade, record migration from India to Australia has resulted in over 976,000 people reporting Indian-related ancestry in the 2021 Census, with first generation Indians in Australia now overtaking China as the second highest ancestry for overseas-born populations. This demographic has some unique characteristics. First generation Indian-Australians are typically economic migrants between 25 and 45, resulting in 61.7% of the total population within this bracket, compared to just 28% for all of Australia. This is also now creating a boom in second generation Indian Australians below 10 years old. Attracting and retaining this younger generation will be critical for the growth of Australian Cricket and has been called out as a key priority in the Australian Cricket strategic plan. Meanwhile, we must also understand the perceptions and needs of their parents, including the challenges they face engaging with cricket in Australia, as well as their expectations, to successfully grow the game.



Australians with South Asian ancestry in 2021

Australians reported Punjabi as their main language at home, and their most comfortable language

2021 census

78 64 56


23 12

11 0-19 years


20-39 years


23 7


40-59 years

23 10



60+ years

1st Generation

2st Generation

3st Generation

Total Australian Population

Given this rapid growth of South Asian communities, as well as their traditional love of cricket, the Multicultural Action Plan will focus predominately on South Asian communities in Australia in the first instance



Percentage of South Asian players in Australian National Teams since 2007 Men’s National Teams

2.3% 5.2% 3.1% Tests



16% of all registered cricketers in community cricket in Australia identified as from a South Asian cultural background in 2022 / 2023

Women’s National Teams

5.3% 3.6% 3.8% Tests



4.2% of players contracted to state and territory teams identify as of a South Asian cultural background for 2022 / 2023

18% of 5 – 12 year olds registered in Woolworths Cricket Blast identified as of a South Asian cultural background in 2022 / 2023

67% of South Asian Australian cricketers reported it was moderately to very challenging to find a club, compared to just 33% of non-South Asian cultural background cricketers



18.1% of players across Australian pathway teams identify as people of a South Asian cultural background in 2022 / 2023 Additionally, we have seen the numbers of South Asian cultural background players increase by around 10% since 2018, with younger age groups showing a high increase.

U12 U19 U17 U12 boys boys boys girls

U16 girls

U19 girls

of South Asian Australian cricketers reported that the welcomeness / inclusivity of the club was a key factor in their decision to join a club, compared to just 42% who felt the ease of finding a club was important
















Of South Asian club cricketers reported being involved in their club outside of playing such as coaching, umpiring or volunteering, compared to 65% of cricketers nationwide





of cricket fans in Australia identify as having a South Asian Cultural background, and this number is growing fast

Percentage of individuals identifying as of South Asian cultural backgrounds on Australian Cricket Boards (as of June 2023)



of cricket fans identifying as of South Asian backgrounds reported they were most likely to watch Men’s T20 Internationals, compared to 49% of non-South Asian fans. There was a clear preference for both white ball cricket and international

Percentage of individuals identifying as of South Asian cultural backgrounds on Australian Cricket Executive teams 2022 (as of June 2023)

c.50k Fans from South Asian cultural backgrounds attended W/BBL matches this year, whereas over 150k attended two games in the T20WC between India and Pakistan and India and Zimbabwe background

30% Of South Asian Australian cricket fans reported having more players from countries of their ancestral background would encourage them to attend more W/BBL games, compared to 13% of non-South Asian fans

x2 Cricket fans identifying as of South Asian cultural backgrounds were twice as likely to have a favourite player than non-South Asian fans

91% Average match satisfaction score for attendees identifying as of South Asian cultural background to international and W/BBL cricket matches in Australia in 2022/2023, compared to 83% for non-South Asian fans

c.18% Percentage of individuals identifying as of South Asian cultural backgrounds workin at Cricket Australia June 2023

55% Average growth and development engagement score for Cricket Australia employees who identify as from a diverse cultural background, compared to 59% overall

CRICKET IN AUSTRALIA AND SOUTH ASIAN COMMUNITIES Our research has shown the Australian Cricket community is incredibly diverse. While grouped together here, we remained conscious of the significant cultural differences between various South Asian communities throughout the development of this plan. Crucially, we have found that while representation of South Asian communities is strong in some areas of Australian Cricket, there are parts of the sport where greater representation is possible. In the development of this action plan, we have worked with the community to create initiatives that will have the greatest impact on the key figures presented here.

Our progress So far We are building from strong foundations – several programs and activities over the last decades have laid the groundwork across Australian Cricket

While we know there is more to do, increased representation in participation and pathway teams over the past decade demonstrates the positive impact of initiatives already in place across Australia, including:

For many years, Australian cricket has taken several steps to make the game in Australia more inclusive and accessible for people of all backgrounds. This has focused across all multicultural communities.

CV International Student

Thunder Nation Cup, 2013

Academy, 2016

The annual HomeWorld Thunder Nation Cup is a celebration of culture, cricket, community and social cohesion. Teams drawn from across Western Sydney celebrate cultural ties to their former homelands by playing cricket.

The International Student Academy program aims to use cricket as the vehicle for student wellbeing and to help break down barriers to social inclusion. As a result of this partnership, students will be better connected and become ambassadors for Victoria, tertiary institutions and our sport.

CA National Multicultural Strategy, 2014 As part of Cricket’s mission to be a sport for all, a guide to multicultural engagement and participation was launched in 2014. This guide provided a series of initiatives to cricket staff, teams and communities across Australia, with a wide range of multicultural communities considered.


Activation events focused on the Pakistani community for the upcoming Men’s NRMA Insurance Test series

210152 Squads_Poster_A2_FA.indd 3

Continue multicultural engagement with communities across Australia through SQUADS Program 14/6/2023 10:54 am

Enhance Woolworths Cricket Blast and School Programs for 2023 / 24 season, including new language guides to support registration

SACA Junior World Cup, 2019 Launched in 2019, the SACA Junior World Cup is a celebration of multiculturalism. Junior teams representing their ancestral nation compete in fun filled games, with the passion of the children and parents clear for all to see.

WACA Multicultural Uniform

Sydney Multicultural Cricket

Guide, 2018

Challenge, 2021

A first in Australia, the guide outlines different uniform options for women and girls to wear when playing cricket. The uniforms adhere to religious and cultural expectations.

Cricketers from across Sydney came together to celebrate cricket and compete in T20 games, all while celebrating the diversity of the players that makes our game special.

The guidelines have helped the state’s cricket clubs and associations create more inclusive places for women to enjoy cricket.

02 Our Process and Approach

Consultation Process This action plan has been developed following extensive consultation and engagement with different cultural communities and experts, focused on understanding the current experience of South Asian cricket players, volunteers and fans in Australia. For the first nine months of 2023, Australian Cricket engaged with South Asian communities to understand their lived experience with cricket in Australia.

This approach has allowed us to combine analysis of data with extensive conversations and consultations, providing a strong quantitative and qualitative fact base. By increasing our understanding of the most significant barriers that still exist for those from South Asian cultural backgrounds, we have identified the actions that will ensure we provide the right opportunities at the right time for all those connected with cricket in this country.



We have analysed and evaluated both external data sources (i.e. ABS data) and our own internal data over several years.

With our research partners, we conducted a wide-ranging survey with the cricket community, seeking to understand key cultural differences and behaviours both in and out of cricket.



We conducted a series of interviews with people identifying as of a South Asian cultural background across Australia, looking to understand their experiences playing, watching and attending cricket.

In depth focus groups were held to understand experience of those of South Asian cultural backgrounds in specific areas of cricket.

STAKEHOLDERS AND EXPERTS Interviews and working sessions were held with Australian Cricket experts, seeking to understand perceptions and known barriers. A group of subject matter experts have also worked to develop the proposed initiatives in the action plan.

Who we Spoke to 1399



People surveyed as part of our South Asian Cricket Survey

Respondents to surveys during the year, inc. the ICC T20WC and summer season in Australia

In depth interviews with experts and specialists across cricket




Affinity pair interviewees discussing their engagement and perceptions of cricket in Australia

hours of desk-based research and reviewing of cricket data

Responses to the CA employee engagement survey


03 our action plan

our action plan The following section details our 10-point action plan for how to build on our existing work to better engage multicultural communities across Australia, and how we can enhance their experience with cricket in this country.

Based on the research conducted and the themes that emerged, we have divided our action plan into 5 key areas.



The main findings and opportunities that still exist to further enhance the game for multicultural and South Asian communities across Australian Cricket.

How we will know that our efforts are working and making a difference for multicultural communities based on quantifiable metrics.



Our overall approach for how we will continue to enhance the experience for those of a multicultural and South Asian cultural background in each area.

Examples of similar actions and initiatives already working in some areas of Australia, that provide context and further ideas for how we can continue to improve our engagement with diverse communities.

It is important to note that the actions and initiatives highlighted only represent a small part of the Cricket Australia and State and Territory organisations do each year across the five areas.

For each of these areas, the following pages will detail:

We know that there is already a lot of great work and activity in place across the multicultural communities of Australia, and as such acknowledge this is not a comprehensive list but only the key areas we are looking to boost to have maximum impact in this strategic cycle.

THE 5 AREAS OF OUR ACTION PLAN PARTICIPATION Inspire more play by supporting South Asian kids, families, players and volunteers, and ensure cricket is fun and welcoming foreveryone. 01. Bespoke social cricket programs, products and tournaments 02. Community coach and volunteer leadership program

HIGH PERFORMANCE Our players reflect the communities they represent, with opportunities throughout Australian Cricket for those of all backgrounds, whether as players, coaches or umpires. 03. Working with foundations and partners to enhance Talent Pathways 04. Elite coach and umpire bursary scheme

PEOPLE AND REPRESENTATION We have an inclusive and welcoming culture across all Australian cricket, providing opportunities for staff of all backgrounds and celebrating the diversity of Australia. 05. South Asian mentoring and leadership program 06. Cultural awareness and unconscious bias training

COMMUNICATIONS AND ENGAGEMENT Communicate with South Asian Australians through channels and media that is most relevant to them, ensuring it is as easy as possible to engage with cricket in Australia. 07. New multicultural ambassador program 08. Engage new media channels with positive storytelling

EVENTS AND EXPERIENCE Ensure all cricket matches are inclusive and celebrate the cultures of all attendees, creating leading experiences for fans that inspire even greater love of the game. 09. New cultural festivals and enhanced match experience 10. More personalised engagement through enhanced data capability

Participation Research Findings

GREAT PROGRESS HAS BEEN MADE IN RECENT YEARS Across Woolworths Cricket Blast, Junior and Senior cricket, South Asian communities are strongly represented and above the population average. Overall, the findings paint a picture of success in engaging this community, with some further participation still possible.

FINDING A CLUB IS ALL IMPORTANT For South Asian background respondents, finding a welcoming and inclusive club was highlighted as a key factor in their enjoyment of the sport in Australia. This is mostly driven by understanding the cultural differences of cricket in Australia, finding clubs that are more open to new players, and location of clubs.

THE FIRST FIVE YEARS AFTER MOVING ARE A CHALLENGE Given the high proportion of the community who are economic or academic migrants, settling in and a focus on career is of vital importance. This means cricket can often take a backseat. However, it can also provide a great assimilation mechanism.

c.18% of cricketers in Australia are of a South Asian background


of South Asian respondents felt it was at least ‘moderately challenging’ to find and join a cricket club in Australia


of non-South Asian respondents felt it was at least ‘moderately challenging’ to find and join a cricket club in Australia

I sacrificed my career moving to Australia. My focus for the past few years has been rebuilding it rather than focusing on leisure activities.

A FLEXIBLE APPROACH TO PLAYING Like other cultural groups, a key barrier to playing cricket can be the amount of time and financial commitment required. This is amplified for the South Asian community, who are often focusing on building a life in Australia. Finding ways to make cricket more flexible will increase representation across all forms of the game.

It’s difficult to commit the time to play club cricket. I don’t have a car. Games are played over two weekends. You’re expected to stay back. And I have a young family. Not to mention it’s expensive - the bat, gear and membership.




Increasing the number of individuals of a South Asian cultural background in coaching, umpiring and volunteer roles across community cricket will help to further participation at all levels and create more inclusive and diverse clubs across Australia.

Developing flexible cricket programs and competitions in locations where there is a high representation of those of a South Asian cultural background will help to representation of diverse groups across Australian Cricket. This also includes online support, where we must continue efforts to be more inclusive, such as creating registration guides in other languages to further support the diverse communities of Australia.

PARTNERSHIPS WITH KEY ORGANISATIONS, INSTITUTIONS AND FIGURES With a high focus on academic achievement and careers, there is an opportunity to partner with academic institutions and universities to reengage South Asian players who may have previously left cricket. Alongside this, continuing to work with our government and commercial partners will also help to create more welcoming and inclusive environments.

Participation What we will do

BESPOKE SOCIAL CRICKET PROGRAMS, PRODUCTS AND TOURNAMENTS A key theme throughout our research was around the challenges new migrants face in Australia, particularly a lack of time and finances available for cricket activities. To combat this, bespoke social cricket events will be enhanced and introduced in key locations that will enable greater playing and assimilation opportunities. Example programs that are likely to be explored in different locations include: •

Weekly ‘drop in’ matches (similar to Park Run) and Tape Ball matches.

• Social Cricket leagues, with greater marketing and administrative support from cricket administrators, both regularly and at festivals. •

Further develop in language registration guides for all ethnicities.

COMMUNITY COACH AND VOLUNTEER LEADERSHIP PROGRAM Our research highlighted that those of South Asian cultural backgrounds were less likely to be involved in committee, coaching and volunteering roles than others, despite making up close to a fifth of the playing population. To change this, a new community fund will be established to support clubs to continue to embrace multiculturalism and become more inclusive, specifically providing funding for equipment, facilities, coaching and umpiring courses and other administrative costs. Universities, highlighted in the research as a key area for growth and support, will also be included in this concept.



Registered participants from a South Asian cultural backgrounds by 2027 By opening the game and making it more accessible, we believe we can come close to doubling South Asian participation by the end of the Strategic Plan.


Number of bespoke participation programs Deliver over twenty bespoke participation programs in locations where South Asian communities are highly represented, including launching new social cricket programs to increase access to cricket in Australia for all.

CASE STUDY QUEENSLAND CRICKET MULTI-NATIONS TAPE BALL CUP Earlier this year, Queensland Cricket’s inaugural multi-nations tape ball tournament was a huge hit across the multicultural community. Tapeball and social cricket are popular forms of cricket among the South Asian community, and often provide a great way to connect with friends and family. Through Queensland Cricket, the tournament was established and hosted over a weekend, bringing together multiple diverse communities through cricket, and engaging with a group of people who may not have traditionally been a part of Australian Cricket. The event was highly successful and demonstrates the value of embracing more social and accessible forms of cricket for the South Asian audience. The hope is that this will become a feature of the cricketing calendar in the region for years to come.

WHAT HAS THE PROGRAM ACHIEVED? • Teams from across the South Asian community came together to represent Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and India, and built stronger relations with cricket administrators as a result. • Connections formed with the community ahead of the upcoming elite season, opening opportunities for further engagement with Australian Cricket at matches throughout the season, alongside providing further support to individuals involved who may wish to join a club this year.

high performance Research Findings

GROWING REPRESENTATION IN THE PATHWAYS Over the past decade, we have seen South Asian cultural background representation in national team pathways increase substantially, particularly at junior levels. This indicates that, with time, we should see representation in first class teams also increase.

EDUCATION AND STORYTELLING COULD BE BETTER Throughout our research, it has become apparent that there are several misconceptions and myths that Australian Cricket can do more to break down. This will require more open, consistent two-way communication with the South Asian community.

U12 U19 U17 U12 boys boys boys girls

U16 girls

U19 girls















% of South Asian background representatives in national pathways

There isn’t as much in terms of representation, in competitive cricket it’s really tricky to make the leap, it’s a small pool already and its even smaller for them. I don’t think they have the same opportunity.

POTENTIAL CHALLENGE IN STEPPING TO FIRST CLASS However, while pathway representation has increased, this has not yet translated to first class state and territory teams. While this may be simply a result of population demographics, it may also indicate a potential challenge transitioning to the next level for South Asian background players.

18% of Australian pathway players are of South Asian cultural background in 2022/2023

4% of first-class players in Australia are of a South Asian cultural background in 2022/2023


CLEAR COMMUNICATION AND GUIDANCE Throughout our research, it was evident that there is not a clear understanding about what skills and behaviours selectors are looking for, and Australian Cricket could do more to appreciate the cultural differences of all participants. We can do more to communicate this more effectively, and to further understand the individual differences and abilities of all players from different backgrounds.



Those of a South Asian cultural background are currently underrepresented across the Australian high-performance system in a variety of roles. There is an opportunity to further support coaches and umpires to progress through the system.

Currently there are multiple views about the challenges faced by players from South Asian backgrounds in advancing to first class cricket. Further evaluation is recommended to help provide greater understanding before significant changes are implemented.

high performance What we will do

WORK WITH PARTNERS TO ENHANCE AND EXPAND TALENT PATHWAYS Our research highlighted a drop off in players of a South Asian background around the age of 18, and we can see that transitioning to first class cricket appears to have its challenges. We need to ensure we are keeping more South Asian players in the game for longer and supporting their overall development. This includes new initiatives such as: • Parrtner with leading organisations including the Usman Khawaja Foundation to support the development South Asian players, on and off the field, to support their cricket and leadership capabilities. • Enhanced national talent scouting platform. • Clearer guidance and education provided to players, coaches and parents about what skills are valued in Australian Cricket.

ELITE COACH AND UMPIRE BURSARY SCHEME South Asian background individuals are currently underrepresented in coaching and umpiring positions and must look at doing things differently to better represent the playing community. This will include a bursary scheme available to coaches and umpires of a South Asian cultural background to support their development and training costs, aiming to upskill them and provide greater access to key roles across the game.



Double the number of players of South Asian cultural backgrounds playing in first class teams Through increased support and focus, we can retain more players in the pathway and support their progression into first class teams


Individuals through coach and bursary scheme by 2027 To directly address underrepresentation in these key roles, we will provide additional support and funding to coaches and umpires to encourage their development and tenure in the game

CASE STUDY USMAN KHAWAJA AND THE USMAN KHAWAJA FOUNDATION Born in Pakistan, Usman moved to Australia with his family as a young boy and grew up in Sydney. A left-handed top order batsman, Khawaja became the first Muslim and first Pakistani-born Australian to receive an Australian Cricket Test baggy green cap and has since become a leading light in the Men’s Australian Test Team. However, his journey to the top was not always as easy, and Usman overcame many hurdles along the way. Now an iconic player, Usman has established the Usman Khawaja Foundation, an organisation helping to alleviate the disadvantages he experienced through the provision of educational and cricketing opportunities. Through his mentoring and leadership, Usman will continue to help South Asian cultural background cricketers to flourish in Australian Cricket, and in doing so help to broaden and expand the talent across our pathways.

WHAT HAS THE PROGRAM ACHIEVED? • Introduced new demographics and communities to the sport of cricket, helping to educate and enhance health outcomes in multiple regions. • Provided educational support for multiple participants, ranging across multiple areas including providing stationary vouchers, uniform vouchers, school fees vouchers, iPads/Laptops, sports apparel, shoes and equipment, and more. • In 2022 in partnership with Cricket Australia, the Usman Khawaja Foundation saw over 1200 participants register for free cricket programs across Australia, with even greater numbers already planned across the 2023 / 2024 season.

People And representation Research Findings

REPRESENTATION HAS NOT YET REACHED SENIOR LEVELS Across Australian Cricket Boards and Executive teams, representation of people from South Asian cultural backgrounds remains low. Providing opportunities and identifying key talent will be key to change this.




of staff at Cricket Australia are from South Asian cultural backgrounds

of Australian Cricket executives are from South Asian cultural backgrounds

of Australian Cricket Board members are from South Asian cultural backgrounds

All data correct as of June 2023

STAFF WHO IDENTIFY FROM A CULTURALLY DIVERSE BACKGROUND ARE LESS ENGAGED Based on available data*, culturally diverse staff are less engaged when compared with overall staff engagement metrics. In particular, staff from these backgrounds felt that more learning and development opportunities would be critical to their further success in the sport.

Overall Growth and Development Engagement Score


* 2023 Cricket Australia employee engagement data



Growth and Development Engagement Score of employees who identify as from a diverse cultural background


RECOGNISING UNCONSCIOUS BIAS We recognise that it is important for all those working in Australian Cricket to be aware of the cultural differences of those playing the sport in this country. Given the rapid growth in the number of staff who identify as coming from a diverse cultural background, it is vitally important that we recognise unconscious bias across the system and provide equal opportunities for all staff.



Greater effort should be made to provide leadership opportunities to staff from diverse cultural backgrounds. This could be leading projects, new public facing roles, or additional mentoring and support from existing leadership. This should accelerate employees’ growth and help to increase representation of all cultures and backgrounds in senior roles.

Inclusive recruitment practices including targeted advertising and addressing unconscious bias in recruitment will help increase the representation of people from diverse cultural backgrounds on Board and Executive teams across Australian Cricket.

People And Representation What we will do

SOUTH ASIAN MENTORING AND LEADERSHIP PROGRAM Providing development and leadership opportunities for staff who identify as coming from diverse cultural backgrounds emerged as a key theme in our research. Across Australian Cricket, we will identify and promote specific opportunities that are relevant in different areas to support our people accelerate their growth and development. Likewise, we recognise that we currently have low representation of diverse cultural backgrounds on Boards across Australian Cricket. Different organisations will have different approaches; however, there will be dedicated efforts to improve representation in the coming years.

UNCONSCIOUS BIAS AND CULTURAL AWARENESS TRAINING Supporting all our people across Australian Cricket to understand their unconscious bias and the cultural differences of the community in Australia will help to break down many of the barriers that still exist in the game. We will work with leading partners to develop the training, delivering this to all Cricket Australia staff in the first instance, before extending this to all Australian Cricket administrators.

OUR KEY MEASURES FOR SUCCESS Parity in growth and development engagement metrics for employees who identify as from diverse cultural backgrounds For employees of diverse cultural backgrounds, we will know our actions are working when we see no difference in the development engagement score between this group and all staff.

Unconscious bias training complete across Australian Cricket Completed for all staff of Australian Cricket.

CASE STUDY CRICKET AUSTRALIA FEMALE ENGAGEMENT PLAN During 2022, Cricket Australia identified that female employee engagement was lower than male colleagues in key areas. In response, a dedicated working group was set up to explore and identify issues that were specifically impacting our female workforce and develop a plan to close the gap. Following the creation of the plan, departments throughout the organisation have been responsible for implementing the changes and driving an enhanced experience this year. This has led to noticeable improvements in the engagement score, and demonstrates that when deliberate action is taken, we can significantly improve the experience of our workforce.

WHAT HAS THE PROGRAM ACHIEVED? An overall increase in the female employee engagement score, with even greater improvements seen in key areas such as development opportunities and intention to remain working in cricket. • Reduced the gender pay gap from over 10% to under 3.5% as of September 2023, and increased the percentage of female leaders at Cricket Australia to have 40/40/20 representation in senior roles. • Celebrated our female leaders and role models in multiple settings, including external (such as the launch of the Belinda Clark statue at the SCG) and internal sessions to share learnings and experiences. * 2023 Cricket Australia employee engagement data

Communications and engagement Research Findings 70%

of South Asian respondents who reported watching cricket in Australia was slightly challenging or hard


of non-South Asian respondents who reported watching cricket in Australia was slightly challenging or hard

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER A key challenge for South Asian communities is simply not knowing how to engage with Australian Cricket, and often not having sufficient confidence to meet a perceived standard. Providing this knowledge in a more accessible way will result in much greater engagement.

TELL THEM IN THE RIGHT WAY, AND THEY WILL COME Reaching South Asian audiences in Australia is all important, with awareness of Australian Cricket found to be quite low, while overall viewing of cricket remains high. Communicating through additional channels, including multicultural media, will unlock significant opportunities to increase engagement.

LANGUAGE MAY BE LESS OF A BARRIER THAN THOUGHT While our initial hypothesis that language barriers prevent engagement has been disproven through our research, communicating in a diversity of languages is greatly appreciated by the community and can make a big difference in welcoming the community.

TV / Broadcast

Online / Streaming

Social / Channels




South Asian




Non-South Asian

Preferred method for watching cricket content outside of attending

8% Only 8% of Indian-born Australians had a low proficiency with English in 2021 census

What we heard

MORE POSITIVE STORYTELLING CAN HAVE AN IMPACT We often heard that the South Asian community was unaware of much of the good work that has already taken place across Australian Cricket. We can do more myth busting and communicate positive stories, and in turn encourage more people to get involved.

It’s difficult to find your connection with no South Asian players in BBL.

What the data tells us

10% of players in the last W/BBL season were of a South Asian cultural background


TARGETED MEDIA AND ENGAGEMENT Working with South Asian media outlets both within and outside of Australia will help us reach new audiences and to increase the fandom of Australian Cricket. This could include specific campaigns based on international teams touring, South Asian cultural background players, or informing this community of matches near to them.

PARTNERSHIPS WITH SOUTH ASIAN COMMUNITY INFLUENCERS AND GROUPS Working alongside well known and influential figures within the South Asian community, we can reach more people and encourage greater engagement with Australian Cricket.

GREATER STORYTELLING, INFORMATION AND EDUCATION A key finding across the research has been that there is a common lack of awareness about the many positive examples of multicultural experiences and engagement. We can do much more to showcase these and breakdown myths, and in turn encourage and welcome others to be part of the Australian Cricket family.

Communications and engagement What we will do

NEW MULTICULTURAL AMBASSADOR PROGRAM We will leverage the network created during the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia last year to establish a cultural ambassador’s program for Australian Cricket. This group will advocate for inclusion and diversity throughout our sport and bring together a cricket-loving community to grow the game.

ENGAGE NEW MEDIA CHANNELS WITH POSITIVE STORYTELLING With lots of great work already underway, and many new and exciting initiatives planned, we recognise we can do more to tell our story and that of our South Asian fans and players. In doing so, we will further inform all cricket fans about the game in this country and highlight a safe and welcoming environment for all. Initiatives will include: • Greater promotion and examples of compelling examples of South Asian and engagement already underway across Australian Cricket. • Provide regular content to South Asian news outlets in Australia and globally, including promoting positive stories. • Develop brand awareness strategy to better engage audiences.



NPS for cricket as a sport from fans of a South Asian cultural background Through our actions above and other ongoing activity, we will know our efforts are working through an increased NPS score for cricket fans from a South Asian cultural background.


Multicultural ambassador events Throughout our strategic cycle, we will work with our new ambassadors to hold multiple community events In line with cultural celebrations and touring teams.

CASE STUDY T20 WORLD CUP CHAMPIONS PROGRAM Ahead of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia in 2022, the Local Organising Committee (LoC) established its ‘2022 Champions’ Program, with the aim of inspiring an enduring legacy of inclusion and belonging. 38 leaders from across a broad-cross section of the Australian community were selected to be part of the program, including Australian Test batter Usman Khawaja, former Australian Women’s players Mel Jones OAM and Lisa Sthalekar, as well as chefs and restaurateurs, Adam Liaw, Diana Chan and Kishwar Chowdhury, and the Chair of UNICEF Australia, Ann Sherry AO. Before, during and after the tournament, the Champions helped to engage large numbers of diverse fans, hosting and facilitating several events, culminating in large attendance from multicultural communities throughout the tournament.

WHAT HAS THE PROGRAM ACHIEVED? • Supported the achievement of record attendances for the World Cup, including sell outs at multiple matches including South Asian nations. • Developed lasting relationships between CA and S&T cricket organisations and the community, which continue to flourish and present a great opportunity for further development. • Formed key relationships and partnerships with the SQUADS program, allowing for enhanced digital engagement with the multicultural community.

Events and Experience Research Findings

X2 AN OPPORTUNITY FOR GREATER MATCH ATTENDANCE While research indicated the desire to attend matches was high, South Asian attendance at matches in 2022/23 was noticeably lower than other cultural groups. The outstanding attendances at the T20 World Cup highlight the great opportunity to do more to encourage attendance at other matches in Australia.

South Asian fans are twice as likely to prefer short format cricket compared to non-South Asian fans

94% Match satisfaction score for South Asian cultural background fans in the 22/23 season


It’s an expensive day out when you bring the whole family.

In comparison to other demographics, the cost of attending appear to be a significant barrier for fans of a South Asian cultural background. More incentives and benefits could be used to attract fans during the season.

A lot of the games are on weeknights, which is too hard with work. Much prefer weekends.

CREATING A MORE FAN FRIENDLY ATMOSPHERE While alcohol and fan behaviour can be off-putting for some South Asian fans, our research indicated this is not as significant as originally hypothesised. Creating a ‘festival’ atmosphere is highly desired by this community, with food highlighted as a key area for improvement.

THE W/BBL IS A KEY OPPORTUNITY FOR GROWTH Awareness of and fandom for the Big Bash remains low with this community despite their overall preference for short format cricket. This presents a great opportunity and is a key potential growth area.


% of South Asian respondents reported that the atmosphere at games was the most important factor when deciding to attend...


…compared with just 30% of non-South Asian respondents. For this group, price and travel were much more important than atmosphere

60K South Asian fans at BBL games in the 22/23 season

80K Fans who came to India vs Zimbabwe at a T20WC match in Melbourne. India v Pakistan was also over 90k.


ENHANCED MATCH DAY EXPERIENCE Holding cultural festivals and events around cricket matches can be a great way to further encourage attendance for those of South Asian cultural backgrounds. When combined with a greater variety of food and beverage, music, languages and support at grounds, we believe we can create an atmosphere and experience that is the most appealing and inclusive across Australian sport.

DEVELOP GREATER CONNECTION WITH THE BIG BASH Our research showed South Asian communities prefer short format cricket and big-name players and excitement are key drivers for attendance. The Big Bash Leagues present the perfect opportunity to welcome multicultural communities to elite cricket in Australia and build greater fan connection to our clubs and players.

IMPROVE OUR DATA TO BETTER ENGAGE AND REACH SPECIFIC GROUPS Enhancing our data systems and capabilities will allow us to better understand, target and engage with South Asian cultural background audiences, and tailor our messages and experiences for this group. In doing so, we can provide a better customer experience, and continually improve our offerings.

Events and Experience What we will do

NEW CULTURAL FESTIVALS AND ENHANCED MATCH EXPERIENCE We can enhance the match experience of South Asian fans. Whether it is domestic or international matches, making our events more appealing to South Asian fans is a key priority. We will introduce a wide range of exciting initiatives over the coming summer and beyond, including but not limited to: • Cultural celebrations and events alongside matches • Diverse food and music at matches, representing the different tastes and preferences of our diverse fanbase. • Ticket packages and options that encourage greater attendance for South Asian audiences to relevant matches throughout the season.

IMPROVE DATA AND ANALYTICS CAPABILITIES TO IMPROVE EXPERIENCES We will enhance our data and analytics capabilities across Australian Cricket. In doing so, we can personalise how we communicate with fans, and deliver tailored and targeted experiences that help to improve their experience and enjoyment of cricket. As part of this, key activities are likely to include: • Enhancement of internal systems in marketing and customer data. • Recruitment of specialist capabilities to better understand fan behaviours and deliver tailored experiences.



Attendees to matches in Australia from those of a South Asian cultural background each season By introducing new activations and enhancements targeted at South Asian fans, we can drastically increase attendances each season.


Match day NPS score for attendees of a South Asian cultural background To ensure a rise in attendance of those from South Asian cultural backgrounds is sustainable, we must provide great experiences at match.

CASE STUDY BRISBANE HEAT’S ‘RASHID KHAN TICKET’ Brisbane Heat and Queensland Cricket have implemented an initiative to help attract fans to games based on the opposing team or other key factors throughout the season. A great example of this was the ‘Rashid Khan ticket package’ on offer when the gun bowler and Adelaide Strikers were in town. Reserving a specific bay for tickets of this type, Afghan fans were targeted and encouraged to attend, with Rashid generously taking time after the match to sign autographs and pose for photos with his fans. Similar efforts were conducted across the season, creating a great experience and atmosphere for fans both new and old, and helping to boost overall attendance.

WHAT HAS THE PROGRAM ACHIEVED? • Greater attendance to Big Bash matches featuring South Asian players, in turn driving greater attendance and memberships across the season. • Strengthened player connection between fans and both teams and playing groups, resulting in longer term affinity for Australian Cricket clubs and players not just of South Asian cultural backgrounds.

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