The ACA has confirmed that the ACA Premier Cricket Program, which has invested $5 million into Premier Cricket over the last five years, will continue for a further two seasons in its current format.
Established in 2014 with an initial three-year commitment, the Premier Cricket Program has allowed over 300 ACA members to play, coach or mentor at the 105 Premier Cricket Clubs around the country.
By the conclusion of the Program, funding will have exceeded $7 million.
Current Sutherland Cricket Club player, and ACA President, Shane Watson said that the players were thrilled to again support Premier Cricket, especially in these uncertain times for the game.
“Considering the current uncertainty in Australian Cricket, it was important to provide clarity for clubs, ACA members, State and Cricket Australia High Performance and Pathway units, on the Premier Cricket Program going forward,” Watson said.
“Premier Cricket is the lifeblood of the sport, so we are thrilled that we can support clubs and members for a further two seasons.”
Premier Cricket Clubs will be able to access up to $11,500 each season, depending on a number of factors, to engage Members in playing, coaching or mentoring roles.
It’s great to be able to go around to every club that I play against knowing that because of the ACA and the current playing group, we have contributed to someone staying in the game,” Watson concluded.Shane Watson
With the Player Partnership Fund set to exhaust, the ACA has decided to commit to the ACA Premier Cricket Program in its current format until the end of 2021-22. Beyond 2021-22, Australia’s professional cricketers will continue to support club and community cricket through programs funded by the Grassroots Cricket Fund.
Watson said his personal experience of Premier Cricket across his career, gave him an ‘enormous sense of pride’ in being part of the playing group which is continuing to assist.
“I love playing Premier Cricket, to be able to give back, but also in knowing the impact that the funding is really providing to club cricket within New South Wales where I play [and across Australia].
“None of us would have had the opportunity to play cricket professionally, for your country and domestically, if it wasn’t for Premier Cricket. It’s as simple as that.
“There is no doubt from when I first started there is not as many senior people around, there is not as many older players playing… and this why the ACA Premier Cricket Program is so important.”
It’s great to be able to go around to every club that I play against knowing that because of the ACA and the current playing group, we have contributed to someone staying in the game,” Watson concluded.
The ACA Premier Cricket Program will officially launch next week.