Queensland again exceeded the previous Census high to register its largest total number of participants involved.

Queensland had 280,768 participants, a record mark, and the third highest number of participants in Australia behind NSW/ACT and Victoria.

Over the past six years, Queensland has delivered an average increase in participants of 11.63%.

The current Census notes that Queensland has 293 clubs fielding 5294 teams.

Queensland Cricket CEO Max Walters said it was pleasing to note the increases in the number of boys and girls taking up the game.

“The focus on the new junior formats will continue to assist with attracting boys and girls to play the game, with the changes making cricket even more accessible and enjoyable,’’ he said.

“Queensland Cricket will continue to make facilities a priority around the State, and engage with government at all levels to help our volunteers at the grassroots successfully run their clubs and deliver a positive experience for all of our participants,’’ Walters said.

Cricket Australia recently announced the findings of its national facilities audit, which surveyed all States and Territories to provide an updated assessment of the facilities available to cricket.

Walters said that as part of that audit, Queensland Cricket had identified a number of opportunities to improve facilities at the grassroots.

“Queensland Cricket currently has more than 50 cricket infrastructure projects on the books for community clubs around the state, in various stages,” he said.

“In 2016-17, we committed $250,000 in partnership with Cricket Australia, through the National Community Facilities Funding Scheme, in 15 Queensland projects, set to deliver more than $2.5 million worth of cricket infrastructure.”

“Success breeds success, and we currently have another 35 projects already put forward by community cricket clubs for a funding contribution, and we’ll be looking to achieve even better results in 2017-18.”

“A great example of a successful project was when Queensland Cricket’s NCFFS fund invested $30,000 in the $370,000 Caloundra Indoor Training Facility in 2015-16, in partnership with the local cricket club, Sunshine Coast Council and the State Government. This facility last year won Cricket Australia’s national award for Community Project of the Year.”

“We have also committed to the National Cricket Campus project based around Allan Border Field and Shaw Park at Kalinga which will deliver an important outcome for Australian Cricket and the local community when that vision is realized,” Walters said.

Queensland Cricket General Manager – Game and Market Development, John Stock, said the emphasis on creating strong ties between schools and clubs was helping to drive the increase in participants each year.

“Our efforts in introducing boys and girls to the game in schools continues to give us the opportunity to transition more of them into the clubs,’’ he said.

“We’re very confident that the roll out of the revised junior formats around the State will provide even more boys and girls with a positive experience for this year.”

“Mackay, Townsville, Cairns, Ipswich, Logan, Sunshine Coast and Rockhampton all made the commitment to trail the formats last season and the feedback we received from them was that it was a successful initiative that allowed the kids to learn the skills faster, and develop greater confidence.”

Stock said the recent initiative to make entry level coaching courses free of charge would also assist in making the game more enjoyable and accessible.

“We are always mindful that with the increase in participants, we need to grow the volunteers, especially the coaches, and identify suitable facilities for them to play at,” he said.

Stock said the marked growth in the number of girls playing, especially in Mackay, Townsville, Gympie, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Toowoomba, Cairns, Atherton and Brisbane, was attributable to the growth of Heat Girls Cricket Leagues and stand-alone junior girls’ competitions,

Nationally, there were 1,429,529 total participants taking part in the sport in 2016-17, making the past season another record breaking one for cricket with a growth of 9.03% on the previous year.

Total Female participation in cricket has increased to 393,735 in 2016-17 making up 27.5% of participants, and a 25% increase from the previous year.

Female participation is highest in schools, making up 88.8% of female participants, and nearly half of all school participants are girls.

Junior Cricket continues to thrive, with 135,223 boys and girls aged between 5 and 12 participating in MILO in2 CRICKET and MILO T20 Blast and junior club cricket.

Indigenous cricket saw a significant 47.3% growth with a total of 54,326 participants last year, equating to an approximate increase of 580% since 2013. There are now more than 60 indigenous players participating in First Grade teams in Premier Cricket competitions around the country. Multicultural participants saw a 18.3% growth, totaling 222,120 and participants with a disability totaled 23,172, a 32.5% growth.

The release of the 2016-17 Australian Cricket Census coincides with the National PlayCricket Registration Drive, Australian Cricket’s national participation campaign that calls on Australians to sign up to play cricket in 2017-18. Visit www.playcricket.com.au for more information.

Australian cricket set a new attendance record, attracting more than 1.8m Australians to elite cricket in season 2016-17. The summer also saw strong TV ratings and record digital engagement.

A total of 1,863,846 people attended international cricket, the KFC Big Bash League (BBL), and the Rebel Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL), making 2016-17 the most highly attended Australian cricket season on record, surpassing the previous peak of 1,727,270 set last year.

The record attendance figures were backed up by strong TV ratings across the summer. An average of 1.05 million watched the Test, One Day International, and T20I matches broadcast on the Nine Network, with a peak audience of 2.189 million during Session 3 on Day 4 of the Commonwealth Bank Test against South Africa in Adelaide.

The second season of the Rebel Women’s Big Bash League was another great success, with more than 121,000 fans heading along to matches throughout the season.

An increased number of matches televised by Network Ten – 12, up from 10 in WBBL|01 – was well received, with an average of 239,000 people tuning in per match, while Cricket Australia’s live streaming of all non-televised matches on the cricket.com.au website, Facebook and CA Live App was enjoyed by an impressive 1.5 million fans around the country, while match highlights from WBBL|02 reached more than 7.3 million fans.

About the Australian Cricket Census

The 2016-17 Census is the fifteenth annual auditing of Australian cricket participation. The Cricket Census has become an important information system for game development, setting targets, and monitoring successes and trends for the long‐term enhancement of Australian cricket.

A ‘participant’ is defined by the Australian Cricket Census as someone who participates in at least four sessions of a formal cricket program.

The 2016-17 census has been compiled by specialist researcher Street Ryan, with the cooperative efforts of Cricket Australia and each of the eight state and territory cricket associations.

The organisations are responsible for recording the number of programs, teams and registered players within their state/territory for each cricket program area.

Cricket Australia’s junior participation programs are supported by Nestlé and the Australian Government via the Australian Sports Commission. The Government support aims to get children healthy and active through participation in sport.

Street Ryan is responsible for the collection of participation figures for Australia’s major sports, including AFL, NRL, ARU, basketball, hockey and golf.