Cricket Australia announces first-ever statue of a female cricketer to be sculpted and put on display at the SCG

Cricket Australia will on Monday celebrate International Women’s Day by announcing that the country’s first-ever statue of a female cricketer will be sculpted and put on display at the Sydney Cricket Ground in a long-overdue effort to address the imbalance of public recognition for women in cricket.

According to the sporting body, across the country there are 73 known statues and sculptures of male cricketers.

There are none of women.

Cricket Australia’s interim CEO, Nick Hockley, said it was important for this glaring gender imbalance to be addressed.

“Just as this year’s International Women’s Day theme promotes ‘choose to challenge’, we are committed to challenging ourselves to continue to address gender inequality across our game,” he said.

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The SCG will house the first sculpture of a female cricketer in Australia. Picture: Christian GillesSource:News Corp Australia

“Precisely one year ago, we were celebrating a groundbreaking moment when 86,174 fans packed the MCG for the final of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.

“So many challenges have been presented since that day, and it is now more important than ever that we keep pushing for equality in cricket and keep building the momentum established before the pandemic.

“This is a historic moment for the game with Venues NSW today committing to the first sculpture of a female cricketer at the Sydney Cricket Ground.”

Among the cricketers who will likely be considered for the statue include Betty Wilson who played for Australia during the 1940s and ‘50s, former captain Belinda Clark who retired in 2005, and current day star players Alyssa Healy, Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry.

Then there are the Gregory sisters – Nellie, Louisa, Alice and Gertrude – who played in the first-ever organised women’s cricket match at the SCG 135 years ago, when it was then known as the Association Ground.

CA has formed a “Recognition of Women in Cricket” working group, which will be tasked with coming up with a list of candidates for the sculpture, as well as looking at other ways of publicly recognising female cricketers, including naming sporting ground stands after them.

CA says there are currently 23 stands across Australia named after male players, and only one named after a woman – the Mollie Dive stand at North Sydney Oval. In Adelaide, SACA named its redeveloped Park 25 as Karen Rolton Oval.

Working group members include former Aussie team captain Lisa Sthalekar, Venues NSW CEO Kerrie Mather and current team vice-captain Rachael Haynes.

Haynes said being involved was a powerful way to help make correct gender inequality.

Australian Women’s Cricket team vice-captain Rachael Haynes. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

“I’m really looking forward to working alongside some pretty incredible female leaders to help us try and improve some of the inequalities that exist in our sport,” she said.

Haynes said the symbolism of having a sculpture of a woman, or her name on a stand was really important.

“The Women’s World Cup final at the MCG last year really showed that women do deserve those big moments and they deserve to stand alongside our male players and in terms of recognising their contribution to the game,” she said.

“Perhaps in the past, we’ve had a really narrow view on what that means and what it looks like and I think this is a really positive step forward.”

Originally published as73 v 0: Cricket to address glaring gender imbalance

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