If there is a better run sporting body than the West Australian Cricket Association, I am not aware of it.
The men’s and women’s teams hold four titles between them, including our first Sheffield Shield in 23 years.
The Association is financially sound, despite losing two seasons of international cricket to border closures. And is currently delivering on the long-aspired redevelopment of the WACA ground, with $100 million in hard-won state and federal government funding.
But, it’s the WACA’s efforts to promote diversity and inclusion within cricket that may have the biggest impact on the future health of the game.
As the demographic composition of Australia has changed over the decades, so has our sporting landscape. While cricket and footy are still prominent, there is much greater competition from other codes.
Encouraging and facilitating participation from a diverse range of ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds is not only the right thing to do, it’s also the smart thing to do if cricket wants access to the full range of talent available, and to grow the number of people buying tickets and watching on TV.
Engaging women not only drives the ongoing success of our women’s teams, it also supports the introduction of children, both boys and girls, to the game.
If we get the diversity piece right, WA cricket will have both sporting and commercial success for a long time to come.
Daniel Smith is executive chair of ReGen Strategic and a WACA member.
This column also appeared in The West Australian.