Why ICC’s 100% Cricket needs your involvement
There are two reasons why International Women’s Day, 2020 was historic for women’s cricket. The ICC T20 World Cup final witnessed a record gathering at the MCG, with 86174 spectators watching. This of course, was before Covid-19 had started rapidly infecting people across borders.
The lesser known event, 100% Cricket was ICC’s new campaign aimed at expediting the growth of women’s cricket. Launched on 8th March 2020 ahead of the final, the campaign strives to build on the momentum garnered by the hugely successful T20 World Cup in Australia.
Nurturing the popularity
The broader objective for 100 % Cricket is to popularise the game on a developmental level for women in non cricket-playing countries. The ICC works closely with the boards of member associate nations where the sport is gradually getting attention. It has so far managed to help young girls hone their skill, athletic ability and passion for the game.
As per an ICC Media Release, it will “challenge perceptions, build heroes and create excitement” heading into the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 in New Zealand.
Originally intended to be a 12 month campaign, an extension until 2022 is likely with the WODI World Cup getting pushed back. But 100% Cricket is expected to benefit more participating nations with a prolonged campaign.
“We want to build a long-term sustainable foundation for women’s cricket. We want to build a product that fans want to watch, that kids want to take up, that sponsors and broadcasters want to be part of,” ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney said.
Engaging a million women in cricket
The ICC plans to involve 1 million new girls and women in the game as part of 100% Cricket. They’ve initiated school and community group participation programs as a central aspect of the project. Accelerated growth programs are targeted at young women of certain member nations.
“We challenge everyone to get involved and make their own pledge using #IDeclare to support 100% Cricket.”
“As part of this, on behalf of the ICC #IDeclare that we will work with Members with the ambition of bringing 1 million new women and girls to the game in next 12 months,” Sawhney added.
12 is likely to become 24 months, which could help recover the time lost during lockdowns. Engaging a million women in the game during this period is testament to ICC’s lofty aspirations. Concerted efforts are being directed at driving conversation around women’s cricket. As an outsider, it’s intriguing to watch video snippets of young women bonding over cricket.
How you can get involved
100% Cricket was established on the foundation of 10 values. ICC demands nothing less than a 100% of innovation, tenacity, dedication, unity, leadership, skill, belief, spirit, passion and performance from the athletes.
Recently, Mel Jones hosted a series of webinars called ‘Leading the Game.’ To address and elaborate on these values, she on-boarded major cricketers and top ICC personnel.
The coronavirus pandemic has inadvertently given those involved in the women’s game a chance to analyze where it stands.
Thailand’s T20 World Cup qualification showed a glimpse of the endless strides that the campaign is capable of making. Numerous more success stories are in the process of being written.
The campaign has spread its wings to places like Chile and Rwanda. Rwanda recently won the 100% Cricket Female Participation Program at the annual ICC Developmental Awards. It’s an outcome of the core team’s inherent belief in the project.
Their vision just about summarises the campaign. “To celebrate the game – we need to celebrate the athletes, their stories and their achievements.”
You could also play a role in aiding the growth of women’s cricket. Watch the recordings of their webinars featuring the likes of Jemimah Rodrigues and Sophie Devine. Stay in touch with the latest happenings by becoming a part of the 100% Cricket LinkedIn Group.