With the 2020-21 cricket season in full swing, Commonwealth Bank in conjunction with Cricket Australia has launched a virtual cricket clinic series for kids and young adults.

The virtual clinics, made up of two instalments, will entertain, educate and help ensure that over a physically-distanced summer, families and young people, particularly girls, don’t miss out on the joy that cricket brings.

The first installment in the series is a suite of four ‘Masterclass’ videos, that feature players from the Australian Women’s Cricket Team including Ellyse Perry and Meg Lanning, and cover everything from reading the field, perfecting your cover drive, to pace bowling.

The second installment is the new ‘Cricket 101’ clinics designed for budding cricket fans who want to learn more about the game. These cover the basics of batting, bowling and the unique bonds of friendship formed on the field. The series is live from Monday 14 December.

Over the past few years, women’s cricket in particular has enjoyed growing popularity, both at an elite and grassroots level. However, the current health pandemic forced many sports onto the sidelines.

To help launch the virtual cricket clinics, CBA commissioned new research that found a strong representation of professional female cricket players is crucial for increasing female participation at a grassroots level.

Four out of five Australians (77 per cent) agree the growing popularity of female sporting stars will ensure more young females play sport for longer. And while female athletes are getting more recognition than they used to, 78 per cent of surveyed respondents believe there is still a way to go.

Monique Macleod, Chief Marketing Officer at Commonwealth Bank, said: “Commonwealth Bank has been proudly supporting women’s cricket for over 20 years, and during that time it’s been so rewarding to see how far it’s come. Unfortunately, many women’s sports have been sidelined due to coronavirus, so it is more important than ever that we expose young females to strong sporting role models.”

The large majority (80 per cent) of respondents also agree the support of girls’ cricket clubs and competitions is essential to encourage young women to keep playing cricket. However, almost half (49 per cent) believe that the top barrier stopping girls from playing cricket is that it is seen as a male sport.

“Our partnership with Cricket Australia is designed to make cricket inclusive and accessible for all. As part of this, we are incredibly proud of The Growing Cricket for Girls Fund, which directly supports the development of new girl’s competitions and teams, and helps grow established competitions. The virtual cricket clinics are another way we are innovating to ensure the up-and-coming generations continue to grow,” Ms Macleod said.  

The research also found 40 per cent of respondents agree that sport was a way to maintain their mental wellbeing during coronavirus, with 36 per cent saying the lockdown circumstances made them realise how much their sporting community meant to them.

Ellyse Perry, Australian all-rounder and Commonwealth Bank Cricket Ambassador, said: “The pandemic has impacted sport in ways we couldn’t have imagined, from grassroots to elite. Despite this, the support for the women’s game remains strong and increased exposure and continued investment into women’s side of the game is critical to inspiring girls across the country.

“While the rise of virtual training won’t replace in-person training, this explosion of virtual sports training allows young female cricket players to stay active and continue to grow their love for the game while training at home,” she said.

Watch the CommBank Virtual Cricket Clinic series via www.combank.com.au/cricket.

About the Commonwealth Bank Women in Sport 2020 Study

The Commonwealth Bank Women in Sport 2020 Study was undertaken by ACA Research in November 2020. Results are compiled from an online survey of over 1,000 Australians 18+, with quotas set based on the latest population estimates sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

About CommBank’s partnership with Cricket Australia

From grassroots to elite female, Indigenous and all-abilities, Commonwealth Bank’s partnership with Cricket Australia is designed to make cricket inclusive and accessible for all. Commonwealth Bank has sponsored the Australian Women’s Cricket Team and the women’s pathway teams for 20 years, during which the sponsorship funding will also go towards:

  • The Growing Cricket for Girls Fund which directly supports the development of new girl’s competitions and teams, and helps grow established competitions;
  • Supporting the National Female Talent Pathway;
  • Helping Australia’s national disability teams receive access to the same high-performance support other elite representative cricket teams receive; and
  • Supporting Australia’s Indigenous women’s and men’s squads, including enabling them to tour England in 2018 to commemorate the renowned all-Aboriginal team tour of England in 1868.