Sydney, October 17: Commonwealth Bank and Cricket Australia today announced the country’s single largest investment in women’s sport and diversity sports programs in the Indoor nets at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).

In a landmark agreement for Australian sport, Commonwealth Bank is extending its partnership with Cricket Australia beyond 30 years by investing more than $5 million per year over three years in a partnership focussed on women’s cricket, multicultural and Indigenous players, players with a disability and local clubs around the country.

This female-focused investment is expected to provide girls with a greater awareness of, and access to, the cricket pathway and inspire them to play elite cricket, particularly all-girls competitions around the country.

As a first in disability support, Australia’s Blind, Deaf and ID teams will not have to pay to represent their country, and will have access to the support required to perform at the international level.

The partnership, commencing in season 2017-18, will increase Commonwealth Bank and Cricket Australia’s support of cricket at all levels. It will include but is not limited to:

  • Extending Commonwealth Bank’s naming rights partnership with the Southern Stars (the national women’s cricket team) both domestically and abroad;
  • Increasing Cricket Australia’s total investment in the Growing Cricket for Girls Fund;
  • Cricket will become the first non-Paralympian Australian sport to fully integrate and support its national teams for players with a disability;
  • Cricket Australia’s A Sport For All program will partner with Commonwealth Bank to grow the diversity of grassroots cricket and celebrate the sport’s many heroes;
  • Cricket Australia will commission a tour by Australia’s Indigenous women’s and men’s squads of England in 2018 as part of plans to commemorate the famous all-Aboriginal team tour of England in 1868; and
  • Commonwealth Bank will work with Cricket Australia to offer career pathways and opportunities for Indigenous players to help balance their sports and professional careers.

Commonwealth Bank will be an Official Partner of the Rebel Women’s Big Bash League.

The bank’s initiative will also allow it to be the ‘Naming Rights Partner’ of the Female Talent Pathway and ‘Presenting Partner’ of the A Sport For All program.

Commonwealth Bank CEO, Ian Narev, said: “Our partnership with Australian cricket has been unbroken for close to 30 years.

“Over this time we have continued to innovate together. This next phase will focus on broadening participation in what is already our national game.

“We will work together to strengthen the foundations of cricket for women, Indigenous players, players with disabilities and the local clubs around the country that are the lifeblood of the game.

“Our on-going partnership will give cricket fans and players of all ages, genders, cultures and abilities the chance to step up to the crease and get involved in Australia’s favourite summer pastime.”

The chief executive officer of Cricket Australia, James Sutherland, said he was delighted that CBA appreciated the importance of women’s cricket, and wished to invest in its future.

“We have had excellent partnerships with CBA over nearly three decades, and we welcome their continuing involvement in Australia’s favourite sport.

“It is significant that they, like Cricket Australia, wish to be deeply involved in supporting and promoting the diversity of our community.”

Also attending were Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars’ players Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry; along with the captains of Australia’s three National Disability teams – Gavan Hicks (ID), Lindsay Heaven (Blind) and Kym Daley (Deaf).

Various community and support groups have joined in to congratulate Cricket Australia and Commonwealth Bank for this largest investment for Women and Disability support

Vir Rajendra

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