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Former Australian Cricketer Brett Lee talking during the Public Interview

Talented young cricketers get an extra chance to shine

On Wednesday 28th August 2013, Cricket Australia (CA) announced an exciting new initiative for the KFC T20 Big Bash League that will see all teams sign on two players on Community and Development Rookie Contracts.

The concept is part of a wider plan to provide opportunities to players who might not otherwise be identified as one of Australian cricket’s pathway programs.

The Community Rookie Contracts may comprise of players from rural communities, indigenous backgrounds, low socio-economic areas, and those from non-English speaking backgrounds.

The Development Rookie Contracts will be available to players under the age of 21 who are eligible to represent Australia under ICC eligibility rules or are an approved Australian resident.

Players will not be part of their BBL team’s squad of 18 players, but they can be signed as a replacement player in the event of an injury to a squad member.

Cricket Australia General Manager Operations Mike McKenna said this was a fantastic chance for the BBL and teams to unearth players who could potentially go on to represent Australia in all forms of the game.

“These 16 rookie contracts will expose some talented young cricketers to high performance environments they perhaps would have not normally had the chance to experience.

“The contracts will be offered to players not currently in cricket’s pathway system, whether that be through their lack of resources, or coming from a remote area or diverse background where exposure to top level cricket has not traditionally been readily available.

“Our National Talent Manager Greg Chappell will work very closely with the State Talent Managers to identify players that fit the criteria.

“Rookies will train with their BBL teams, take advantage of their facilities, coaching and support staff. This is a chance for teams to contribute to the identification and development of the next generation of cricketers.

“Ultimately our goal is to see some of these rookies develop into the future stars of Australian cricket and one day watch them walk onto a Test arena wearing the Baggy Green.

“As we head into summer and start preparing for cricket season, this initiative will hopefully inspire budding cricketers to pick up a bat or ball, sign up at a club and play cricket,” Mr McKenna said.



Subject: Australia’s Favourite Sport – A Sport for All Australians Date: 28 August 2013

Mr.Sam Almaliki

As a sport for all, Australian Cricket is determined to continually embrace, engage and reflect the Australian community in its entirety. We know that the face of the modern day Australia is constantly evolving and changing. A testament to this is the significant wave of migrants from South Asia and mainland China over the last decade and their significant on-going contribution to our society.

• Engaging our female, Indigenous, multicultural and disability communities at the grassroots level, is fundamental to us realising this vision and ensuring that cricket is at the front porch of the Australian Community. This emphasis is well showcased by the online resource, with a “sport for all” feature page.

• Australian Cricket has recognised this for some time now and we are getting on with the business of delivering on this key strategic priority for our game.

• In May, Cricket Australia created a new Senior Manager Community Engagement role, to which I was honoured to be appointed to the position. As a refugee from Iraq, a ten year veteran of grassroots cricket administration here in Western Sydney and a previous advisor to the NSW Government on multicultural affairs as a Commissioner on the NSW Community Relations Commission I innately understand and importantly relate to the journey before young people and their families who wish to be involved in cricket.

• Since then, in addition to the existing roles of Diversity Manager and Female Engagement Officer, we have announced the appointment of two Indigenous Cricket Officers to be part of our Community Engagement team.

• In our pursuit, we are developing a National Community Engagement Framework that will deliver unique strategies for our female, Indigenous, multicultural and disability communities. These strategies will not only deliver programs across our participation and elite pathway systems but also deliver organisation wide initiatives that will affirm and showcase our on-going commitment to be a sport for all Australians.

• Our Journey towards a National Community Engagement Framework involves:

1. A National Listening Tour and Review into our previous community engagement activities and initiatives. This listening tour and review is capturing feedback from staff, players, volunteers and other community stakeholders through personal meetings, a national community engagement survey and a best practice research project into our existing programs and those of other sports domestically and internationally.

2. The establishment of four working parties that will formulate the unique strategies required for our female, Indigenous, multicultural and disability communities. The membership of these working parties will be broad and representative of our staff and key community representatives engaged in each of these communities. Earlier this month our National Indigenous Cricket Strategy working party held its first meeting. It is already making substantial progress in developing a strategy that will create more pathway opportunities and heroes for our Indigenous Australians.

3. The formation of an organisation wide working party that will ensure our National Community Framework is integrated across Australian Cricket and at the core of our day to day business. The membership of this working party will comprise Senior Leaders in Australian Cricket and high profile community members.

• While the development of this Framework and the underpinning strategies and programs are taking shape, Australian Cricket is undertaking crucial initiatives in this area that will underpin our success as Australia’s Favourite Sport- a sport for all. These include:

1. Establishing a baseline across our key focus communities by ensuring all of our participants in entry level programs such as in2CRICKET, T20BLAST as well as Club cricketers respond to a series of diversity quantitative questions on the My Cricket registration system. This is crucial to Australian Cricket setting future inspirational targets in terms of our engagement of Indigenous, multicultural and disability communities. It will also enable strategic allocation of resources and accountability across Australian Cricket.

2. Conducting a National audit of elite cricket from u13’s State and Territory Development Squads right through to Grade/Premiers Cricket identifying female and male talent with Indigenous and multicultural heritage. Under the National Community Engagement Framework, we envisage to have in place development and mentoring programs that will support these players and ensure that they are the future stars of Australian cricket.

3. Coordinating 280 community appearances to be made by our Southern Stars players across the country. Our World Champion female players will share their remarkable stories and along the way inspire kids in particular girls to get active through cricket.

4. Coordinating numerous community appearances by Gurinder Sandhu, Fawad Ahmed and Usman Kawaja under the Cricket Australia National Marketing Contract scheme aimed at showcasing that indeed our game is a sport for all Australians.

5. Commissioning research to be conducted by the Australian National University with oversight from the eminent Professor Mick Dodson into Indigenous Cricket.

• Significantly, as well as developing a wide range of programs and initiatives, we recognise that it is heroes and positive role models that will inspire the next generation of Australian players and fans. With that CA is committed to unveil these heroes by increasing accessibility to our elite pathways system. It is a large part of why we are here today. Shortly, Former Australian Captain and Cricket Australia National Talent Manager Greg Chappell will announce a visionary concept involving the KFC T20 Big Bash League that aims to identify and help develop some of Australia’s next cricketing heroes. Cricket’s vision to be Australia’s favourite sport means we must continually evolve to capture the imagination of all Australians. Today’s event and announcement is another step in that on-going evolution.

MC of the Function Cricketer Josh Lalor

Mr. Sam Almaliki, Senior Manager Community Engagement- Cricket Australia

Federal Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Justice Hon. Jason Clare MP

Former Australian batsman Greg Chappell

Mr.Andrew Jones, Chief Executive of Cricket New South Wales

Federal Minister Hon. Jason Clare MP and Chief Executive Cricket New South Wales Mr.Andrew Jones

Federal Minister Jason Clare, Former NSW Premier Morris Iemma and Syed Talal of Sada-e-Watan Sydney

Former Australian batsman Greg Chappell and Asif Riaz Malik

Syed Talal and Mayor of Liverpool City Council Ned Mannoun

Syed Talal and Former Australian Cricketer Brett Lee

Mr. Asif Riaz Malik and Gurinder Singh Sandhu

Former Australian Cricketer Brett Lee and Former Pakistani Cricketer Javed Nazar

Syed Talal and Former Australian batsman Greg Chappell

Former Premier of New South Wales Morris Iemma and Syed Zafar Hussain of Sada-e-Watan Sydney

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