Howzat for an impressive statistic – girls in Western Australia are leading the way for the nation’s cricket participation.
This year’s census data reveals that while the code’s national female participation has increased 11.4 per cent, WA’s registrations have quadrupled that growth, recording a stunning 45 per cent rise.
The jump was the highest in the country, with nearly 6000 girls playing cricket in WA this year.
Indigenous community club participation also grew by nearly a third, while senior participation was up 56 per cent.
The huge female involvement is a stark contrast to when WA star batter Nicole Bolton came through the underage pathway two decades ago.
“Like myself, a lot of the girls in the squad at the moment either started their cricket journey in the men’s team or got involved in the sport a lot later because of what was available,” Bolton said.
“It’s really encouraging to see there’s that participation increase not only for Australia but importantly in WA, through the grassroots to the high-performance structure.”
The soar in numbers comes after the WA women’s team claimed a drought-breaking title win in February, leading the way for the young aspiring cricketers.
“It’s a credit to not only the pathways but also the high-performance system, what we’re seeing is it allows them to identify talent a lot earlier these days,” Bolton said.
“It’s encouraging to see the female participation numbers for cricket so high. Hopefully for WA with the increase in participation we won’t see another 33-year drought until the next title success.”
WACA General Manager of Community Cricket Jo Davies says the diversity is the most important element of their growth.
“We’re thrilled to have more women and girls playing than ever before and it’s pleasing to see the diversity of WA cricket continuing to grow.”