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Commonwealth Bank recommits to Cricket Australia with landmark investment

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has extended its partnership with the Cricket Australia governing body, with the new contract focusing on aiding the development of the sport in the country.

The three-year deal will cover the 2017-18 to 2019-20 seasons and result in Commonwealth Bank investing more than A$5m (€3.5m/$3.8m) each year into Australian cricket. The partnership will focus on women’s cricket, indigenous players, disabled players and local clubs around the country.

As part of the deal, Commonwealth Bank will retain naming rights to Australia’s women’s national team, while it will increase Cricket Australia’s investment in the Growing Cricket for Girls Fund, raising awareness of opportunities for female cricketers to take up the sport.

Cricket will also become the first non-Paralympic Australian sport to fully integrate and support its disabled national teams, with members of Australia’s blind, deaf and ID teams no longer having to pay to represent their country. Players will also receive access to the support required to perform at international level.

In addition, Cricket Australia’s ‘A Sport For All’ programme will team up with Commonwealth Bank to grow the diversity of grassroots cricket, while the body will commission a tour by Australia’s indigenous women’s and men’s squads of England in 2018. Indigenous players will also be offered career pathways and opportunities to help balance their sporting and professional lives.

Furthermore, Commonwealth Bank will become an official partner of the Women’s Big Bash League club competition, as well as take on naming rights to the Female Talent Pathway programme and serve as a presenting partner of A Sport For All.

“Our partnership with Australian cricket has been unbroken for close to 30 years,” Commonwealth Bank chief executive Ian Narev said. “Over this time we have continued to innovate together. This next phase will focus on broadening participation in what is already our national game.

“We will work together to strengthen the foundations of cricket for women, indigenous players, players with disabilities and the local clubs around the country that are the lifeblood of the game.”