Cricket Australia apologises for child sexual abuse within the sporttext_fields
Melbourne: Australia's cricket board, Cricket Australia (CA), apologised to victims of child sexual abuse that happened within the sport.
In a Monday statement, CA chairman Lachlan Henderson urged all the state and territory cricket boards in the country to sign up for the national redress scheme for those who became victims of institutional child sexual abuse, IANS reported.
The said scheme, which came after the formation of the landmark Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, will provide victims 150,000 Australian dollars in compensation at the expense of the responsible institution.
Though CA was hesitant to join the scheme earlier, Henderson says the board wants to have collective action on the matter.
In the statement, he said, "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."
"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," Henderson said.
"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.
Xinhua news agency reported that it was in 2017 that the royal commission filed its final report. It revealed that there was widespread child abuse happening within religious, community and sports organisations, according to Xinhua.
So far, only Western Australia (WA) is the only one among eight state and territory cricket organisations which have signed up for the redress scheme. Also, the Australian Football League (AFL), National Rugby League (NRL) and Netball Australia signed up for the same in 2020.
In September, the Supreme Court of Australia extended former elite junior cricket coach Ian King's prison sentence by nearly two years. Seventy-nine-year-old King was imprisoned for abusing many boys during his term in Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Cricket. His victims had testified that the ACT board was aware of King's actions.