Women are flocking to cricket as the sport enjoys a renewed surge of popularity on the back of Big Bash League success.
The latest National Cricket Census has found that 30 percent of cricket’s participant base are women – and six out of ten new cricketers are now girls or women.
The increase is one of the highest year-on-year growth figures Cricket Australia has experienced.
The census also revealed a record breaking 1,558,821 Australians actively engaged in cricket competitions or programs - up 9 percent from the previous year.
This includes 854,951 participants engaging in cricket programs in schools and 703,870 players engaging in regular competitions or club-based programs at junior and senior level.
The figures come just days after Cricket Australia with state and territory associations announced $35 million of investment over the next three years to grow and support community cricket.
The substantial injection of money is aimed at improving facilities and cricketing experience for players, coaches and volunteers across the country.
“We are thrilled to see the number of Australians playing cricket continue to grow year-on-year,” said Cricket Australia’s Chief Executive James Sutherland.
”To have more than 1.5 million Australians participating in cricket last season is a fantastic result, highlighting the passion Australians have for cricket.
“We are pleased with the uptake of young children experiencing cricket through programs specifically designed for schools. More than 850,000 participated. These entry level numbers are outstanding, and we hope the programs help instil a love of the game that will see them continue to play and enjoy their cricket.
“We are working hard with the community to ensure this interest and enthusiasm is transferred to regular playing opportunities.
“We have more women and girls playing cricket than ever before, and The Growing Cricket for Girls Fund, with support from Commonwealth Bank, has been an overwhelming success and a program we will continue to invest heavily in.
“We are particularly pleased with 619 new junior girl’s teams creating opportunities for the next Meg Lanning or Ellyse Perry to learn the game.