Victorian cricket clubs throughout the state will encourage fans to remember the passion, not the odds as part of the 2017 Love the Game round to be played this weekend.
Cricket Victoria, in partnership with the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, is showing its support for the 'Love the Game' campaign with several initiatives that will help to reduce the exposure of our fans, officials and players to sports betting promotion.
"This weekend's dedicated round with Premier Cricket men and women's clubs will bring into focus the risks of gambling, and encourage young people to love the game, not the odds," Cricket Victoria Premier Cricket Strategy and Development Manager Mike Ronchi said.
"The themed round is a result of a partnership between Cricket Victoria and all 26 Premier Clubs. We have all signed the Responsible Gambling charter with the Foundation, pledging not to enter into sponsorship agreements with betting agencies and sports bookmakers.
"It's an important message that all clubs support wholeheartedly, and Cricket Victoria is pleased to be hosting another themed round this season," Ronchi added.
Foundation CEO Louise Glanville congratulated Cricket Victoria and all Premier Cricket clubs for their commitment to a game free from gambling sponsorship.
"There are so many elements of cricket to appreciate and enjoy - the talent, skills and abilities of the players, a healthy sense of competition, and teams that work and perform well together, to name a few.
"It's important to recognise that sport and betting are not synonymous and to ensure that Australian kids have the opportunity to grow up valuing and participating in sport for what it offers intrinsically.
"The Love the Game round, which coincides with Responsible Gambling Awareness Week, celebrates the positive aspects of cricket without the intrusion of betting or risk of gambling harm. I'm very pleased that Cricket Victoria and the Foundation are working together on this initiative," Ms Glanville said.
Mr Ronchi said he encouraged all Premier Clubs to further support this great Foundation-Cricket Vic initiative by including the #lovethegame hashtag in all tweets across the weekend and to promote it via Facebook as well.
The two highlighted matches will be the St Kilda v Melbourne Uni match at the Harry Trott Oval on Saturday and the Dandenong v Essendon Maribyrnong Park match at Shepley Oval on Sunday.
To read more about the #lovethegame round, click here
The 'Love the Game' campaign was formally launched last year by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation and players from St Kilda and Melbourne University cricket clubs.
Advice and tips to help parents discuss the risks and harms of betting with their children can be found at lovethegame.vic.gov.au.
Esteemed cricket writer Gideon Haigh has penned a comment article in today's edition of The Age on the 'Love the Game' campaign and the impact gambling continues to have through all levels of sport. To view the article please click here.