MELBOURNE (AFP): Cricket Australia apologised to child sex abuse survivors on Monday and called for more action to address the “appalling issue” in the sport in the country.
The sport’s national body has joined a redress scheme for victims of institutional child sexual abuse, but Cricket Australia chairman Lachlan Henderson urged state organisations to also sign up.
“Historical child sex abuse is an appalling issue that society and many sports including cricket are grappling with,” Henderson said.
“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.”
Earlier this year, a former junior cricketer took legal action against Cricket Australia over allegations of abuse suffered on an under-19 tour of India and Sri Lanka in 1985.
Separately, in 2009, former state cricketer Ian King was jailed for sexually abusing schoolboy players as a coach in the 1980s and 1990s.
Australia’s National Redress Scheme, set up after a government inquiry exposed harrowing reports of historical child sexual abuse in many institutions, aims to support and compensate victims.
But the scheme relies on organisations voluntarily joining, something most of Cricket Australia’s state-based organisations have yet to do.
“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.