Australian cricket has traditionally been an exemplar of hyper-masculine sporting conservatism. However, cricket, as with a number of Australian sports, has recently introduced an elite women's league. Despite growth in participation and funding of women's cricket, it remains poorly understood at the elite level and particularly its fans. Drawing on the concept of gender-bland sexism (Musto et al., 2017), we investigate differences in fan engagement and perceptions of men's and women's cricket matches. Through a case study of Australian Women's Big Bash cricket team the ‘Sydney Sixers’, this chapter explores how women's cricket was experienced on match-day by fans, as well as perceptions of the value and quality of attending women's professional cricket. We first undertook participant observation at matches to understand how women's cricket was delivered, experienced and engaged with by fans. These observations informed a survey which was distributed to club members. Our findings suggest that there continue to be noticeable differences in the presentation of women's matches when compared to their male equivalents, providing evidence for the presence of gender-bland sexism in areas other than sports media.
Parry, K.D., Richards, J., Batey, J. and Khan, A. (2021), "Walking the Walk: Gender-bland Sexism, the Fan Experience and Perceptions of Value in Professional Women's Cricket", Bowes, A. and Culvin, A. (Ed.) The Professionalisation of Women’s Sport (Emerald Studies in Sport and Gender), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 211-227. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-80043-196-620211013
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