Guide to Diversity - Multicultural

In response to Australia’s rapidly changing society, cricket must engage with new and emerging communities to ensure it remains Australia’s favourite sport. Greater inclusion of multicultural communities will attract more talent into the game, increase volunteering and audience participation and will help build a socially cohesive society.

Multicultural - Definition

There are a number of definitions of Multicultural including:

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Census - one or more parents born overseas.
  • CALD - Culturally and linguistically diverse communities (not Anglo Celtic and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds).
  • NESB - Non-English speaking background.

For this diversity guide the primary focus is on NESB communities.

Cricket Australia uses the ABS Census definition for measuring multicultural participation for club, centre and entry level programs and NESB for school programs.

Multicultural - Key Message

In response to Australia's rapidly changing society, cricket must engage with new and emerging communities to ensure it remains Australia's favourite sport. Greater inclusion of multicultural communities will attract more talent into the game, increase volunteering and audience participation and will help build a socially cohesive society.

At all levels of Australian Cricket, everyone must recognise and value an integrated and inclusive cricket community in which diversity is recognised and celebrated.

Valuing diversity will ensure cricket's long-term growth and make the game accessible to all Australians.

Multicultural - Fast Facts

  • 24% of registered club cricket participants identify as having one or more parents born overseas.
  • 46% of Australians have one or more parents born overseas.
  • 28% of Australians were born overseas.
  • Over 50% of the residents of Sydney, Melbourne and Perth have one or more parent born overseas.
  • 1 in 8 Australians have Asian ancestry.
  • South Asian communities are among Australia's fastest growing communities.
  • Punjabi is the fastest growing language in Australia. The number of Punjabi speakers in Australia has grown by 207% since 2006 from 23,164 to 71,229 speakers.
  • The next fastest growing languages spoken are Hindi (70,008 speakers in 2006 to 111,351 speakers in 2011 - 59% increase) and Mandarin (220,604 speakers in 2006 to 336,410 speakers in 2011 - 52.5% increase).
  • There are now an estimated 1 million Australians of Chinese ancestry.
  • There are an estimated 800,000 Australians of South Asian ancestry.

Multicultural - Cricket Advantages

  • Cricket is an international game played in over 100 countries.
  • The South Asian communities have the highest passion levels for the game of any segment in the Australian community.
  • Cricket has an image as a safe, non-contact sport compared to other traditional Australian sports.
  • Cricket has an increasingly diverse offering of modified versions of the game - indoor, social cricket, T20 Blast, twilight etc.
  • Cricket is a vehicle to participate in the broader Australian community.
  • KFC Big Bash League is more attractive and accessible to new migrants as fans.
  • Successful European migrant role models - Lenny Pascoe, Simon Katich, Michael Kasprowicz, Moises Henriques.
  • Successful South Asian migrant role models - Usman Khawaja, Lisa Sthalekar, Gurinder Sandhu, Ashton Agar.

Multicultural - Focus Groups to Increase Engagement

  • Girls and Women of all backgrounds:
  • South Asian (Bangladeshi, Indian, Sri Lankan, Pakistani, Afghanistani and Nepalese);
  • Chinese; and
  • New migrants (arrived in the previous five years, with a focus on refugee and humanitarian entrants).

Multicultural - A Sport for All Tips for Better Engagement

Consideration Tips
1. Low Awareness about cricket, sport and systems
"I don't know the rules or have any knowledge of the game!"

Education and awareness programs

  • Identify bilingual brokers who can reach the community and/or who understand cricket.
  • Customised promotional materials - Translate materials, use diverse images, make it youth friendly (Cricket Australia provides translated and template versions of promotional materials including for MILO in2CRICKET and MILO T20 Blast in Hindi and Mandarin).
  • Set up information sessions with the community to explain benefits, processes and systems.
  • Select familiar venues, i.e. language schools or community centres.
  • Provide information on Club/Centre values and participation policies.

Targeted promotion

Multicultural media, local council media and multicultural networks e.g. Migrant Resource Centres.

Clear messaging

Where appropriate, shift from words to pictures in how to describe the game. Ensure anything written is in plain language and easy for people from different cultural backgrounds to understand. Encourage youth participants to take materials about the game home with them.

2. Timing
"I can't play that day"
"My family does other things on weekends"

Plan ahead

Understand each participant's commitment limitations in context of their culture and lifestyle and plan accordingly.

Be flexible

Use rotation policies and have larger squads.

Long term focus

Focus on long term engagement of the participant and their family instead of their week to week commitment.

3. Low Family Engagement with Cricket
"I have no connection with cricket"
"Family is my priority"


Making events family-friendly and promoting the educational benefits of getting involved will assist in engaging people from multicultural backgrounds.

Promote social benefits

Promote the benefits that come from engaging with cricket such as teamwork, making new friends, building confidence, skill development, regular exercise and integration with the wider community.

Involve parents

Create opportunities for the whole family to be involved, e.g. umpiring, scoring.

Reassure parents

Speak to parents personally and consistently to address queries. Explain ways in which the Spirit Of Cricket fosters mutual respect and care for others

4. Low Competence (skill + confidence)
"This game is foreign to us"

Offer multiple skill levels

Offer different divisions based on skills rather than age.

Offer modified versions

e.g. MILO T20 Blast (a simpler format of the game).

5. Cost
"We can't afford to pay to play"
"There are more important things to pay for"

Individual funding support

For some new migrant communities, particularly humanitarian refugees, the cost of participation is prohibitive. Be aware of local government grant opportunities, state government sports participation vouchers and other funding.


Offer discounted memberships to suit the situation. Have club equipment kits available for loan.

Club funding support

Be aware of external funding opportunities for clubs through Sport and Recreation departments, Ethnic Affairs Councils and Local Councils.

6. Cultural Appropriateness
"This club doesn't understand me or my cultural needs"

Customs, Faiths and Values

Specific information on each cultural group can be found under "Advanced Cricket Communities", "Non-Traditional Cricket Communities" and "Refugee and Humanitarian Migrant Communities" sections of this guide.

Understand the Community

Obtain community profiles from local council and/or Regional Cricket Managers. Get to know your community through attendance and participation in community festivals and events.

Accommodate faith / culture

Get to know national, cultural and religious calendars. Take account of religious and cultural festivals, holy days and practices such as fasting when planning training sessions, activities and games. Reference them on club websites / newsletters / social media etc. Reference importance of providing & highlighting separate change facilities for boys and girls.

7. Safety
"My child may get hurt"
"I'm not familiar with training / playing facilities"


Promote the fact that cricket is a safe and non-contact sport.


Use facilities familiar to parents and children after hours e.g. schools.

8. Transport
"We can't get to training or games"

Public Transport

Some newly arrived communities use public transport - selected facilities need to be accessible and centrally located where possible.

Use Partners

Engage youth services, councils, schools for access to community buses.

Car pooling

With responsible adults for child safety purposes.

9. Staffing / Volunteers
"I have no connection with cricket"

Communicate volunteer obligations

As part of the induction process, provide clear communication that the club is run by volunteers and all parents are encouraged and expected to join the volunteer community.

Explain the nature of volunteering.

As the concept of volunteering is not well understood in many cultures, explain the differences between formal and informal volunteering.

Communicate full range of available roles

Clearly communicate the range of roles available for parents including canteen, event organising, fundraising committee, etc.

Use skills

Find out what parents do for a living and align roles with any existing skill sets, e.g. website maintenance accountant, hospitality, plumber, builder, healthcare.

10. No link to the club
"I don't know anyone"

Strong induction processes

Once you have invited a community/family into your club, you must make sure they feel involved and engaged immediately.

Welcome / Induction Night

A dedicated welcome / induction night is a proven strategy to build a sense of belonging, learn about club values and communicate club culture. Parents can also be inducted into the club to build family engagement.

Buddy System

For all new players, implement a 'buddy system' in which an established or confident team member is assigned to befriend and nurture the new team member and integrate them into the environment.

Extend the Welcome

Expand the 'buddy system'to parents, guardians and wider circle of youth participants.

Resources for Including the Multicultural Population