Sports

Top 5 Stories Of 2021: Cricket

For the fifth part of the 2021 in review series, Ministry of Sport covers the most influential cricket stories of the 2021 year.

5 – T20 Breaks Streaming Records

According to broadcast figures released from Foxtel, the 2021 T20 World Cup across its linear and streaming platforms saw an average audience of 263,000 for Australian matches.

The viewership equaled a 128% increase on the 2016 edition, with the final drawing an average audience of 299,000 across Foxtel, Kayo, Foxtel Now, and Foxtel Go, with a further 120,000 viewers of the match highlights on Kayo Minis.

Fox Sports executive director, Steve Crawley, said: “It was an incredible performance by the Aussie men’s side to win their maiden T20 World Cup and pleasing to see so many proud supporters glued to the coverage back home.”

4 – Front Office Moves

The Australian cricket world has had its fair few of front office moves in the past twelve months.

In April, Andrew Ingleton stepped down as CEO of Cricket Victoria, with Cricket Victoria’s board selecting former Cricket Tasmania CEO, Nick Cummins as interim CEO.

Just a month later, Cricket Australia formally appointed Nick Hockley as chief executive after he spent 11 months working in the role on an interim basis.

Hockley led the organisation as CEO of the 2020 ICC T20 World Cup in Australia before becoming officially appointed.

In the later months of 2021, Cricket Australia chair, Earl Eddings, announced his resignation from the position ahead of the national sporting organisation’s annual general meeting (AGM).

The resignation marked the end of Eddings’s 13-year tenure at Cricket Australia, with Cricket Australia director, Richard Freudenstein, replacing him in an interim role.

3 – Pushing Through The Paine

The 2021 year brought a big change in the Australian Men’s Cricket Team, with captain Tim Paine stepping down following a sexting scandal four years ago.

Ministry of Sport spoke to Cricket Australia CEO, Nick Hockley in an exclusive interview right before the ground-breaking news was released, just before the start of the ongoing 2021/22 Ashes Test series.

Hockley labelled the upcoming summer of cricket as “probably the biggest summer in the sport’s history”.

“It’s an enormous summer of cricket, the work that’s going on and the support we’re getting from other member boards, all the Big Bash clubs, governments right around the country, the match officials, all the dedicated staff working in Australian cricket, it’s absolutely phenomenal,” Hockley said.

2 – Seven Battles Cricket Australia

The early months of 2021 oversaw broadcast rights conflict continue from 2020, with Cricket Australia battling Seven in court after an independent arbitrator ruled Cricket Australia must pay a $5.3 million rebate to the free-to-air broadcaster.

The disputes began in the later months of 2020, with the broadcast war reportedly valued up to $450 million.

Seven reportedly placed rebate targets at $66.5 million, which led the corporation to commit to the dispute.

The ongoing dispute saw a Federal Court direction for pre-discovery documents in August of this year.

1 – Women In Cricket

The current year brought progression to all codes and leagues of sport in terms of gender diversity and equality, and the cricket scene was no exception.

On International Women’s Day, Cricket Australia revealed plans to address gender imbalance in the sport with the formation of a Recognition of Women in Cricket Working Group.

In June, Ministry of Sport spoke to Cricket Australia operations director for Big Bash Leagues, Belinda Keay at the Ministry of Sport Women in Sport Summit 2021.

“I think the key takeaway is you need to get your head out of those gender biases and to advocate that it does need to be equal regardless of gender,” Keay said.

Cricket Australia also pledged to boost women’s pay in a $1.2million investment to wrap up the year.

To view all other parts of the Ministry of Sport top five of 2021 series, click here, otherwise, keep an eye out on our socials channels and website for the next release in the series.



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