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The Poster that Nails it About Women’s Cricket

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Walking around the Bupa National Cricket Centre in Brisbane, I came across a flyer for a new internal campaign recently developed by Cricket Australia, and is possibly one of their best yet.

 

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At first glance it doesn’t seem like much… But there is far more to this simple campaign.

Cricket, for many generations, has been described as ‘the gentleman’s game.’ Yet now, almost a quarter of all cricketers in Australia are female. 

Belinda Clark, hailed one of the greats of the women’s game, was on a panel with myself and Joe Dawes (current Southern Stars Bowling coach), presenting to some school teachers a few years ago. What she said back then has stuck with me.

“Cricket is just cricket.”

Is there actually a difference between a Meg Lanning and a David Warner cover drive? Yes, they might have different techniques, but as do most other batters around the world. 

Describing cricket as ‘men’s’ or ‘women’s’ automatically begins to draw comparisons between the two. Talks of the men being stronger, more athletic and faster begin to take hold of the conversation, when in reality, we all play the same game. The team with the most runs wins – simple.

 

By removing the gender, you lose the comparisons. You lose the stigma and the stereotypes that surround these traditionally ‘male dominated sports.

 

By removing the gender, you lose the comparisons. You lose the stigma and the stereotypes that surround these traditionally ‘male dominated sports.’ It isn’t just cricket that has to face the gender comparisons either, with many other sports set to face these challenges in the coming years if they want to be a sport of choice regardless of gender.

If this forward thinking is adopted, cricket, and many other sports, will go a long way to breaking down stigmas and becoming mainstream sports for women and girls. Cricket Australia’s vision – To Be Australia’s Favourite Sport – A Sport For All Australians – is definitely a big step in the right direction.

Speaking of comparisons, another discussion that often riles me up is the debate about whether women are as entertaining to watch as men. I like to believe that we are finally in an era where women’s sport is finally getting the attention that it deserves. It’s hard to compare ratings and crowd numbers when the KFC Big Bash League has a four year head start on the Rebel Women’s Big Bash League. Channel 10 has been a great supporter of the Rebel WBBL, having committed to broadcasting an increased number of games this season, and we’ve already seen a massive increase in viewer numbers in WBBL|02. I’d like to think that it won’t be long until every WBBL match is shown live on TV in prime time; only then can a fair comparison be made.

Holly Ferling is a fast bowler for the Australian Women’s Cricket Team The Southern Stars.

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