The WACA Ground will turn rainbow today as the Perth Scorchers hold their first ever WBBL Pride match against Hobart Hurricanes.
The reigning champions are just the second Big Bash team to host a pride match – the Sydney Sixers have held annual ‘Pride Party’ games since 2019 – and the club will also stage their first KFC BBL pride game later this summer.
Players will don rainbows in the form of hat pins, multi-coloured shoelaces, socks, ribbons, scrunchies and sweat bands, while the rainbow vibes will also extend into the crowd, the music and even the food stalls – all to help spread the message that cricket is a sport for all.
Batter Mathilda Carmichael, one of two Scorchers Pride ambassadors alongside Andrew Tye, said the match was about promoting acceptance, equality and visibility of the LGBTQIA+ community, not only for those on the field, but also for fans.
Sunday’s match is just one part of a wider commitment from Western Australian cricket to champion inclusivity; one that has seen male and female players, alongside staff, involved in education sessions.
The organisation has been working closely with WA organisation Living Proud to ensure they are making meaningful engagement with the LBGTQIA+ community.
“WA cricket as a whole have put together a three-year plan and this is the first step of it, in increasing visibility of pride and the inclusiveness of LGBTQIA+ people (and) using the power of sport to highlight that,” Carmichael said
“To us, it’s more than just having a pride flag flying and having a bit of colour, there’s also the education piece to ensure that it actually genuinely makes a difference and gives us an understanding of people and their differences and that we should be celebrating people’s differences.
“Living Proud have come in and will continue to come in and give us education sessions around the history of Pride and where it came from and why it started.
“That’s been really insightful and it’s generated a lot of conversation amongst our playing group and staff.”
League-wide pride rounds are held in the AFLW and Super Netball, while English cricket supports Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign across a weekend of domestic and international matches each season.
Carmichael would like to see the Big Bash follow suit in future seasons with a pride round of its own.
“We’ve seen it with the First Nations Round, it began as something (smaller) and evolved into a whole round,” she said.
“I think the more that sport can be a driver for social change or social issues with the platform that it has is really important.
“So for this to become a whole round across the competition would be would be really good … the bigger the message and the more united cricket is, it’s going to be better for society and then also better for cricket as it just opens up the doors for more people to be part of the game.”
Tickets for Weber WBBL and KFC BBL games are on sale now. Get yours at cricket.com.au/big-bash