More Singhs than Smiths in Australian cricket

Looking ahead, Australian Cricket anticipates even greater engagement from multicultural communities, particularly with high-profile series on the horizon.

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According to registration data for the 2023-24 season, Singh has emerged as the most common surname among registered cricket players in Australia, widening the longstanding dominance of Smith. The figures depict a clear picture: 4262 individuals bearing the surname Singh registered for cricket, while 2364 individuals with the surname Smith followed suit.

In the heart of NSW, at the Glenwood Redbacks CC U15 team, J. Singh and N. Smith take to the cricket field together. Their partnership is emblematic of a shifting dynamic in Australian cricket, where players of South-Asian descent are increasingly making their mark. Recent statistics released by Cricket Australia underscore this trend, revealing a notable rise in the number of players with Indian heritage participating in the sport.

This shift in dominance first occurred in the 2018-19 season and has since continued to widen. Last year, CA had announced the inclusing of two players of Indian heritage, Harkirat Bajwa and Harjas Singh, in the 15-member squad for the upcoming 2024 Men’s Under 19 Cricket World Cup.

The surge in Singh registrations reflects a broader trend of increasing South-Asian participation across all levels of Australian cricket. Notably, surnames like Patel, Sharma, Khan, and Kumar have also gained prominence, further underscoring the diversity within the cricketing community.

This growth in cultural and linguistically diverse (CALD) cricket participation comes amidst Cricket Australia’s concerted efforts to foster inclusivity within the sport.

The launch of Australian Cricket’s Multicultural Action Plan in December, spearheaded by Usman Khawaja and Lisa Sthalekar, stands as a pivotal moment in this endeavour. The plan aims to integrate diverse communities into Australian cricket, promoting their involvement as players, coaches, officials, administrators, and fans.

James Quarmby, CA’s Head of Participation, expressed optimism about the trajectory of multicultural participation in cricket, stating, “The continuing growth of registrations from multicultural communities is a testament to the progress being made toward our goal of being a Sport for All. We want people from multicultural communities to play a major role in all parts of the game at community and elite level, whether that is as players, coaches, officials, administrators or fans.”

Looking ahead, Australian Cricket anticipates even greater engagement from multicultural communities, particularly with high-profile series on the horizon. The upcoming white ball tour by Pakistan men, the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series featuring five Tests, and the three-match ODI series against India women present significant opportunities for South-Asian cricket enthusiasts to showcase their passion and support for the game.

As Australian Cricket strives to create welcoming and inclusive environments for all cricket lovers, the surge in registrations from multicultural communities signals a promising future for the sport, one where diversity thrives both on and off the field.

Read More: Bajwa and Singh selected for 2024 Men’s U19 Cricket World Cup

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