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Australian batsman Usman Khawaja.
Australian batsman Usman Khawaja.

Cricket Australia recruits Usman Khawaja, Elyse Villavi to grow diversity and inclusion

ANI | Updated: Sep 21, 2020 12:00 IST

Melbourne [Australia], September 21 (ANI): Cricket Australia (CA) has decided to enlist the assistance of a wide range of experts and sportspeople to develop the next stage of its diversity and inclusion action plan.
Cricketers Usman Khawaja and Elyse Villani, along with Graeme Innes AM, former Australian Disability Discrimination Commissioner and member of the blind community, are among those who will assist with the process.
Working groups have been formed comprising a combination of external members and CA employees across three areas: disability, cultural diversity, and diverse genders and sexuality.
The programme is intended to ensure CA has the best possible action plan to guide decisions made across all parts of the game and it will work hand in hand with Cricket Australia's existing Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan launched in December 2019.

Also enlisted across the groups are former Paralympic gold medalist and accessibility consultant Nick Morris OAM, member of the deaf community, and former Olympic decathlete Dean Barton-Smith AM, National Program Manager for Pride in Sport Beau Newell, and Sri Lankan cricketing great Asanka Gurusinha.
With initiatives such as the National Indigenous Cricket Championships, National Cricket Inclusion Championships, and cricket's guidelines for the inclusion of transgender and gender diverse people in cricket, Cricket Australia acknowledges the importance of diversity across all areas of the sport.
This includes the recruitment and retention of staff, cultural safety in the workplace, major events, digital platforms, and education across all forms of cricket.
"We're very excited about bringing people with a wealth of different professional and lived experience together to help us advance as an organisation. We believe we have implemented some great programs at a participation level and have a reasonable base to be starting from, however, we would be naive to think we have all the answers within our walls to be a truly inclusive sport," Adam Cassidy, Cricket Australia Diversity and Inclusion Manager, said in an official statement.
The groups will begin working together on the development of the diversity and inclusion action plan next month. (ANI)