When you think of cricket and Asian, your head automatically goes to the South Asian region and you expect to see teams like India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan do quite well against Aussie and English teams. But when we look at the Aussie team, that representation is absolutely dismal and the question is why? Considering there has been huge migration cohorts into Australia from countries like India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh, we hardly see this representation in Australian cricket.
An answer for this is that at the club cricket level there are huge cultural barriers, particularly in terms where the Asian representation is like standing at 1. Clubs doing things that “whites/westerners” do is not the way Asian migrants and their children would do – without change and adaptation, things will not change and the representation is dismal.
In addition, there is huge issue of racism at matches with spectators yelling out casual racist remarks – this is another deterrent.
Businessman and Sydney cricket figure Darshak Mehta, recently wrote an opinion piece for the Sydney Morning Herald/The Age on the cultural barriers Australian cricket presents to Asians and those who are “not white”:
“Has cricket done everything it could have to attract and retain them?”
“At the risk of stereotyping, these are kids who are most likely not to play the three football codes which compete with cricket in this country. In fact, for most, cricket is their only team sport. The talent pipeline should be bursting. But it isn’t.”
“You find in club cricket that the club is often sponsored by a pub and everyone goes to the pub after the game,” “That’s not what these guys do.”
“While at state and Cricket Australia board level you can have some diversity, you have no diversity with administration at club land. That’s where the heart and soul of these players are going to be playing week-in, week-out.
“If the environment isn’t welcoming enough for a young sub-continental kid their parents will say go and become a doctor or an engineer or a lawyer.”
Let us know what you think.
Images via the Sydney Morning Herald/The Age