NEWS: Women’s Game “Endangered” In New Zealand, But Board Promises To Act

New Zealand Cricket have accepted the findings of a damning independent report into the state of the women’s game in the country.

The report into the state of women’s cricket in New Zealand was commissioned by the board, and undertaken by Sarah Beaman, a former player and New Zealand age-group captain, who is now a management consultant specialising in sports and recreation.

Beaman’s report finds that beneath the veneer of the current team’s international success, domestic participation has dropped to near-disastrous levels, with over 50% of clubs offering no cricket at all for women or girls. Just 10% of players are female, almost all of whom are young girls who go on to drop out of the game as teenagers. At a management level, women hold only a small fraction of positions on New Zealand’s regional and national boards.

In the report’s executive summary, released today, Beaman writes of having discovered “women having virtually no voice in the governance or leadership of cricket, few women coaching or umpiring, and female players a species on the verge of extinction.”

A statement from New Zealand Cricket acknowledged the issues highlighted in the report and promised to put them right, saying:

“We have neglected the women’s game… We were wrong, and we now need to address the areas we’ve allowed to slip.”

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4 thoughts on “NEWS: Women’s Game “Endangered” In New Zealand, But Board Promises To Act

  1. What the ECB calls a pathway is becoming a structure that in identifying talent throttles the Club game and challenges the County game. Mark Robinson talks about the limited game experience even our new academy players have. Can the game survive yes, can it thrive I’m not so sure. In fact maybe this will create a level playing field between the playing nations with only Australia set apart.

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  2. Interesting thoughts here – made me think. The report seems to fly in the face of several notable features of the NZ women’s game.

    * The national women’s side are over-achievers, selecting from a female population of under 2.5M, probably a fifth of that of Australia and a tenth that of England, yet are at a similar level to both.

    * The national women’s side are on a high and look like an excellent outfit, having put the touring Pakistan side to the sword in the first ODI

    * Even though they are currently missing Devine, McGlashan etc, recent replacements such as Sam Curtis, Hannah Rowe, Holly Huddleston etc. have settled straight into the NZ side (“strength in depth”?)

    * Female Umpire Kathryn Cross usually makes an appearance or 2 in the home international series. I can’t remember seeing any female umpires in England.

    * Most concerning immediate problems appear to be lack of grass roots participation and low representation in management and coaching.

    Maybe it’s like the tip of an iceberg poking through the water, you can only see part of it; and if the underbelly has melted away, the cap will soon sink as well. Will we see a decline in the NZ national team starting in the next 5 years or so when a few of the current crop of players may be approaching retirement? The report would seem to suggest so, but we shall see.

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  3. As a New Zealander who pays attention to women’s domestic cricket on both sides of the Tasman, the contrast between Cricket Australia’s financial and promotional support of women’s cricket, and New Zealand’s Cricket’s repeated failure to do either effectively, is galling. Though some of the provincial associations (e.g. Northern Districts) do a tremendous amount, the overall effort is just as unacceptable as this report finds.

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