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CA must walk the fine line between stewardship and salesmanship

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In the week since reporting that Cricket Australia’s claim of 1.65 million Australians playing the game relied on a tendentious use of data, the Herald has received plenty of feedback.

Clubs who have struggled to maintain their team numbers and feel ignored by the game’s governing bodies have called in. Clubs who are holding up strongly against the headwinds of social change, and feel well-treated by the governing bodies, have made themselves heard. There are also innovators who have maintained their playing strength not by cannibalising other clubs and recirculating the same cricketers, but by bringing new people into the game.


The state of play is variable, as you would expect. CA thinks that about one-third of cricket clubs are growing, one-third are level-pegging and one-third are battling. This estimation, like others, might be plucked out of a hat, but it does recognise that there are great differences in prosperity within the cricket community and that many clubs, especially outside the capital cities, are fighting for survival and unhappy with what they are hearing from the top.

The chief executive of Cricket Australia struck an appropriately humble tone when addressing stakeholders in a letter on Tuesday, vowing to listen more closely to the needs of cricket clubs who have been bleeding numbers. Kevin Roberts acknowledged that it "will take more than a letter from me to make everything better", and promised to "maximise the impact of the millions of dollars" that governing bodies had committed to supporting the thousands of volunteers whose efforts determine cricket’s health in Australia.

Numbers game: CA claims the Herald’s manual count of 247,060 unique cricketers in CA’s MyCricket database was incorrect. Credit:Geoff Jones

To raise an alarm of behalf of club cricket was an objective of the Herald’s investigation into Cricket Australia’s claims of........

© Brisbane Times