Former Australian all-rounder, Shane Watson, was appointed President of the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) at its AGM in Sydney on Monday.

Watson is part of an extended 10-person board which includes three new appointments: current Australian players Pat Cummins and Kristen Beams, and cricket commentator and former Australian cricketer, Lisa Sthalekar.

Watson said the support the ACA provides cricketers had been a constant across his professional career since he made his first-class debut in 2000 and that he was excited to lead the Association after seven years on the Executive.

“Through a period of immense change, the players have been, and will continue to be, a strong voice in protecting what’s made our game of cricket great, while embracing opportunities that change inevitably brings,” Watson said.

Watson says these opportunities are particularly present in the women’s game, where the ACA has been a significant partner in its growth – notably the inclusion of women and men under the one MOU in 2017, and more recently the introduction of a paid parental leave policy.

“This policy, amid a host of other changes, assures Australian women that cricket is a sport which can now support you and your family. And for girls coming through who love sport, like my daughter, it says that cricket is a sport where you’ll be able to have a career.”

Watson, who continues to play Premier Cricket for Sutherland, is also passionate about forging greater connections with community cricket and noted the $30 million contributed by the players into the Grassroots Cricket Fund.

The expanded board is part of a revised governance structure for the ACA, which now also manages the Australian Cricketers’ Retirement Account, which benefits Australia’s professional cricketers once their careers are over.

The revised structure also splits the role of President and Chair, which will continue to be held by Greg Dyer.

“I’m excited to work even closer alongside Greg, as he’s someone I’ve always enjoyed spending time with,” said Watson.

“He’s an incredibly successful man in his own right, and everything he’s been able to bring to the ACA over his time as President has been immense.”