21 Nov 2017

NZ Cricket 'transforms' after damning report

11:11 am on 21 November 2017

A year on from a damning independent report on the state of women's cricket in New Zealand, the author believes the sport has undergone a transformation.

In November last year New Zealand Cricket released the Women and Cricket report by management consultant Sarah Beaman, herself a former player, which castigated the sport's administration.

It found over 90 percent of cricket clubs didn't have female only teams, while over 60 per cent of clubs didn't offer cricket for girls at all.

At the time Beaman said the top priority should be to bring more women into governance positions and increase female presence in coaching and umpiring.

The Women and Cricket report reveals only  ten percent of players in the sport are female and of those 90 percent are under 12.

There has been a 12 percent rise in the number of women playing cricket. Photo: Photosport

"Cricket has responded incredibly well...they've been going great guns.

"They've shifted from eleven females in governance at national level to 35. So 35 women are now involved at board level, that's a significant shift in a year to 18 month period."

Sarah Beaman

Sarah Beaman Photo: Supplied

"They've also changed the structure of how high performance is delivered.

"So that's now all Black Caps and White Ferns are now under one high performance structure which is quite a shift because the White Ferns were out to one side previously, so that gives the White Ferns access to the same sort of resources that the Black Caps are getting."

New Zealand's Amelia Kerr celebrates with team mates

The White Ferns now have access to the same training programmes at the Black Caps. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Beaman said there has also been a 12 percent increase in female participation in the sport, mostly in the junior and youth areas of the game.

Beaman admits she has been surprised at the level of change over the past year.

The White Ferns huddle before a match, 2016

Photo: Photosport

"I didn't expect that sort of shift to be honest and I thought that it would be a lot harder," althought she concedes some associations have not adapted as well.

Beaman said the report was "a wake up call" for the sport.

"I was pretty clear up front when I was asked to do the work, that I was interested if it was a piece of work that was going to sit on the shelf and I was assured from by the Board that this was being done to make change."

Other sports will hopefully take notice of the change cricket has been through, said Beaman.

"I certainly hope that rugby will sit up and take a bit of notice because they are a similar traditional male sport.

"What we found with the report was that there was an awareness and willingness to make change but just a lack of knowledge, and asking 'how do we find these women, where are they and how do we attract them?'"

"So a lot of the things have been providing resources and support around how to should tap women for roles and how to change the wording in advertising roles to actually make it attractive to women and not unconsciously making it so that it appeals to males only...and those are tools that can be used by an sport really," she said.