Cricket Australia (CA) and the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) have signed an official licensing deal with global cricket non-fungible token (NFT) platform start-up Rario and digital trading firm BlockTrust for digital collectible NFTs from Australian cricket and play-to-earn virtual gaming, which will be accessible to over one billion cricket fans globally.
“Using eco-friendly blockchain technology, the multi-year exclusive CA/ACA partnership will introduce NFTs to cricket fans, creating a new fan engagement tool that celebrates the rich history of Australian cricket,” a press release stated. The partnership will support the growth of the game along with supporting past and present players through their historic achievements being featured in NFT moments.
Ankit Wadhwa, co-founder and CEO of Rario, said that Australia has led the way in cricketing innovation by entering the Metaverse. He added that this is a first in the cricketing world, where a national board (CA) and player’s association (ACA) have come together to define the future of fandom with NFTs. Cricket lovers will have an opportunity to own a part of the sport they love, collect memorable moments and player cards and indulge in cricket NFT-based games, Wadhwa added.
This will be Australia’s first sports metaverse designed for the Australian cricket community, said Mike Alexander, co-founder and CEO of BlockTrust, which develops bespoke NFT marketplaces and Web3 experiences for brands and organisations.
The joint press statement said that traditionally collectibles have only featured still images, whereas NFTs can also show the full story of a sporting moment by featuring an officially licensed broadcast vision. Steve Waugh’s last ball boundary at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 2003; Ellyse Perry’s Ashes double century shot and reaction; and many other such moments can now be captured in full action for digital trading cards and memorabilia that fans can own and trade exclusively.
This will open up huge opportunities for innovation and fan engagement, said Nick Hockley, CEO of Cricket Australia. He further noted that the game’s deep connection with its past, the passion of fans and the appeal of Australian cricketers to a global audience, means the incorporation of NFTs is another way that fans across the world can engage and be part of the sport.