Culture

Cricket becomes the most popular sport in Australia

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Cricket has become the most popular sport in Australia with the highest number of participants, overtaking Aussie Rules football. Cricket enjoyed an 8.5 per cent growth to 1.31 million participants in the 2015-16 summer. AFL had 1.25 million participants in 2015.

The explosion in female cricket participation has played a large part in cricket’s new found popularity with almost a quarter of cricket participants now being female. Female participation now makes up 24 per cent of the sport. Female cricket grew by nine per cent to 314,936 participants on the back of initiatives such as the Women’s Big Bash League, televised matches and the increasing media profiles of inspiring role model players such as Ellyse Perry, Alyssa Healy and Meg Lanning. The success and popularity of the Southern Stars has also played a key role. The record participation numbers have encouraged Cricket Australia to invest a further $4 million into the women’s game.

The battle to recruit female talent in sport is well and truly on in Australia with cricket, netball, AFL and rugby league all introducing or announcing new elite women’s competitions and the gold medal in Rio by our women’s rugby sevens team sure to drive female interest in that sport as well. Fans can look forward to being treated to a smorgasbord of top class female sport in the seasons ahead.

By BTS
Big Time Sports Writer

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