Interesting how seemingly unconnected events often supply ramifications far beyond the surface implications of the event.


We are looking back and referring on the cricket incident involving ball tampering by Australia in South Africa, a blemish often referred to simply as the “Newlands Scandal.”


Sounds benign when called that, but the impact went much deeper than the bans to the players and the sledge to Australia’s reputation in the international cricket community.


Cricket in Australia at the grassroots level lost ground in terms of participation because of the 2017 incident.


Almost three years later, the players are coming back and much of the regain to the club registrations at the local level are attributed to the turnaround Australia has produced by retaining the Ashes in England and a home summer campaign that was better than expected.


The figures regarding registrations are not truly dramatic, but after slipping from the peak figure from the World Cup win in 2015 during the past two years, the 2019 registration figures have grown, although they are still well below the peak in 2015.


Cricket Australia community cricket Belinda Clark offered some clarity around the issue.


“A lot of our focus has been on understanding what are the drivers of people coming back, what are the drivers of people having a great experience, particularly young kids, and it all relates back to fun not surprisingly,” Clark said.


The drop in participation was dramatic on the men’s side of the game; much less so for the women’s side, which held steady.


Clark reported that she provides grassroots level assistance for more than 4,000 clubs while she was speaking about new technological innovations that will vastly ease the burden of those who toil at the grassroots level with administrative tasks that often find local cricket administrators swamped with duties including data entry, budgeting and member communications.


Clark is pursuing an objective of making the local managers’ tasks simpler by using a smartphone app to handle all the mundane administrative tasks that often find administrators at the grass roots level finding more frustration than fulfillment and leaving their roles for the next unsuspecting person assuming the role.

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