In late February, Cricket Australia announced that some 2.4 million spectators had watched cricket in Australia over the summer, including the World Cup. This was described as a record attendance, surpassing 2.35 million in 2017-18, although the 2014-15 summer, also featuring a World Cup, returned more than 2.5 million spectators in total.
“Following two challenging seasons due to the pandemic, we are absolutely thrilled that more fans have attended cricket matches this season than ever before,” Cricket Australia’s chief executive Nick Hockley had said.
“This record-breaking 2022-23 season reflects the support for the T20 World Cup, the performances of the Australian women’s and men’s teams and the popularity of the Big Bash Leagues. These numbers demonstrate the passion of cricket fans of all ages and the massive reach that the game enjoys as our national sport.
“With the Future Tours Program and long-term partnerships with broadcasters Foxtel Group and Seven West Media confirmed, we are more focused than ever on delivering brilliant experiences for fans in 2023-24 and beyond.”
Mike Baird, the former New South Wales premier who is now Cricket Australia’s chair, has stressed transparency and partnership between all parties in cricket, after some years of internecine squabbling during which predecessors David Peever and Earl Eddings departed in acrimony.
Baird was appointed in December to replace Lachlan Henderson, who resigned more cordially due to his relocation to Perth to take up a new role as chief executive of the not-for-profit health fund HBF. Henderson has remained as a director.
Talks about the financial prospects for cricket over the next five years have run in parallel with discussions about Test match venues for next summer, and also pay talks between the Australian Cricketers Association and Cricket Australia.
At the same time, the ICC is about to meet to discuss how a $US3 billion India rights deal for global events is to be shared among members. Former interim chair Richard Freudenstein will represent Cricket Australia at that meeting via remote link this week.