Meblourne, Aug 11 IANS | 2 months ago

The number of sportsperson taking up cricket in Australia is growing every year and 2013-14 saw a 16 percent rise with the final figure pegged at 1.106 million, Cricket Australia (CA) said Monday.

What was more encouraging was that female participation has increased by 39 percent and school participation by 30 percent.

In a statement, CA said a study conducted by independent research firm, Street Ryan, revealed that cricket is the No.1 participation sport in Australia.

"The 2013-14 census, which coincides with Australian cricket's annual participation campaign, PlayCricket Week, revealed that Australians have flocked to play cricket at local grounds, schools and indoor centres across the nation with figures up 16 per cent on last year and an incredible 30 per cent over the past four years.

"The huge growth in national participation since 2010-11, which equates to around 255,000 additional cricketers in Australia, is largely attributed to a strong focus on making cricket more accessible for players of all ages, genders and cultural backgrounds across the country," the statement read.

Out of 1.106 million, 537,000 are school participants, 400,000 club and community participants and 169,000 indoor participants

"A 39 percent increase in female participation in cricket bringing the total number for 2013-14 up to 247,000. Females make up 22 percent of total cricket participants. A 30 percent increase in school participation driven by entry level programmes including MILO in2CRICKET Skills, MILO T20 Blast School Cups and Active After School Care," the statement read.

There was also an eight percent increase in traditional club cricket, bringing total participation up to 337,000 across Australia's 477 cricket associations and 3,995 clubs. This is the biggest single year percentage growth in this segment for over five years.

(Posted on 11-08-2014)

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