CA apologises to sexual abuse victims while involved in Australian cricket

Cricket Australia (CA) on Monday issued a statement apologising to victims of child sexual abuse within the sport.

CA chairman Lachlan Henderson called for all state and territory cricket boards to sign up to the national redress scheme for people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse.

Instituted following the landmark Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the scheme entitles victims to up to 150,000 Australian dollars in compensation at the expense of the responsible institution. Henderson said CA wanted collective action on the issue after initial hesitation to join the scheme.

“Historical child sex abuse is an appalling issue that society and many sports including cricket are grappling with. We can’t change what happened but we need to do what we can to assist victims,” said Henderson in a statement on Monday.

“On behalf of CA, I want to apologise to anyone who has suffered sexual abuse while involved in Australian Cricket. We are encouraging all states and territories to join the National Redress Scheme and the CA board is currently exploring other ways that Australian Cricket can further help victims of abuse.

“While we now have a rigorous set of policies and procedures around child safety, we need to ensure we are supporting anyone who has experienced past abuse as best we can,” he added.

The royal commission had published its final report in December 2017, which uncovered widespread evidence of child abuse within religious, community and sport organisations, reports Xinhua.

Western Australia (WA) is the only one of eight state and territory cricket organisations to have signed up to the redress scheme, with fellow elite sports bodies the Australian Football League (AFL), National Rugby League (NRL) and Netball Australia having done so in 2020.

Henderson’s comments came after the Supreme Court in September extended former elite junior cricket coach Ian King’s prison sentence by nearly two years. King, 79, was jailed for abusing several boys during his time in Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Cricket. His victims have alleged ACT Cricket was aware of his actions.

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