Cricket Australia signs broadcast deal to boost the sport

A NEW broadcast rights deal worth close to $1billion is expected to help Cricket Australia target talented young sportspeople traditionally lured to more lucrative football codes.

The organisation yesterday announced new deals with Channels Nine and Ten that will generate about $840 million over five years, not including extra TV revenue from the Twenty20 Champions League, CA's share of ICC events, income from radio, new digital deals or yet-to-be concluded domestic cricket deals.

CEO James Sutherland said the deals would mean, "more talented young Australian athletes will choose cricket as their preferred professional sporting career".

He also said more money would be used to, "encourage more kids, females, indigenous Australians and Australians of non-English-speaking backgrounds to play and follow cricket".

Special marketing contracts have already been awarded to Pakistani refugee Fawad Ahmed, who may be called up to Australia's Ashes squad if his citizenship is fast-tracked, and promising young NSW bowler Gurinder Sandhu, the first player of Indian heritage to represent the state.