Australian cricket clubs are set to benefit from the largest collective investment into grassroots cricket from Australian professional cricketers in history, with the Grassroots Cricket Fund returning for the second year.
The players, the Australian Cricketers’ Association and Cricket Australia are working in partnership to deliver the Fund of up to $30 million, focusing on providing equipment grants, playing and training facilities to clubs across Australia.
From today, community cricket clubs will have the opportunity to secure up to $2,500 in funding for new equipment from the $2 million in grants available in 2019/20.
In addition, players will again contribute up to $1 million to the Australian Cricket Infrastructure Fund which will invest in community playing and training facilities such as pitches, ovals, training nets and lighting. The Australian Cricket Infrastructure Fund will open in each state over the coming months.
Australian cricketer, Elyse Villani said: “The opportunity to leave a tangible legacy to community cricket is important to all players and we’re all passionate about giving back to the game that has given us so much.
“If we can make the experience of playing cricket better for all it will go a long way to benefitting the game at the community level through to those involved at the highest level.”
With player safety and supporting volunteers a priority for the game’s elite players, the Grassroots Cricket Fund has partnered with helmet manufacturer Masuri and technology company, Microsoft to provide discounted products for clubs to access through the equipment grants.
Australian Cricketer, Will Pucovski said: “Players are united in delivering the Grassroots Cricket Fund to make cricket more accessible to all Australians.
“We all started out in local clubs, so we know how important it is for young kids to hit, bowl and throw a cricket ball in a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment.
“This is one small part of how we can give back to the communities who have really shaped us into the people and cricketers we are today.”
In season 2018/19, over $1.8 million from Australia’s professional cricketers was invested into facilities and equipment grants via the Grassroots Cricket Fund which saw 469 community cricket clubs benefit from the opening year of the funding.
The players contributed $1 million to 140 playing and training facility projects benefiting players and clubs around Australia, while 329 regional and drought-affected clubs received a $2,500 equipment grant.