Sport and Recreation Minister Jonathan Coleman will tonight acknowledge steps being taken to improve gender equality in cricket at the ANZ New Zealand Cricket Awards.

“It is a credit to New Zealand Cricket that they are one of the first of the major sporting codes to appoint a female President and I would like to acknowledge Debbie Hockley’s appointment,” says Dr Coleman.

The appointment follows the critical ‘Women and Cricket, Cricket and Women’ report which was published in November 2016.

It found that nearly 60 per cent of cricket clubs didn’t offer any cricket for females, and only six per cent of governance positions were held by women.

“New Zealand Cricket has recognised that there is vast room for improvement when it comes to the sport’s engagement with women,” says Dr Coleman.

“It’s great that there’s been an increase in the promotion of the White Ferns over summer.

“I wish the team well for the upcoming ICC Women's World Cup, to be held in England during June and July. Suzie Bates and the team are tremendous ambassadors for our country and for the sport.”

Tonight’s awards are being held at the Viaduct Events Centre in Auckland and will celebrate all levels of cricket from volunteers and administrators through to the Blackcaps and White Ferns.

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