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ECB unveils plans to increase diversity in cricket

The ECB has revealed plans to increase the diversity and inclusion across the sport, alongside a new Commission for Equality in cricket.

The new proposals are part of the Inspiring Generations strategic plan that the organisation has been implementing to improve the sport.

One of the measures approved by the ECB was the formation of the Commission for Equality in cricket, which will support the ECB Board at investigating and analysing evidence of inequalities and discrimination. The commission will be made up of independent members, including an independent chair.

Additionally, the ECB will create a forum around race in cricket, which will provide a confidential and safe space for the governing body to learn about the experiences of those from across the game, as well as a new ‘Equality Code of Conduct’ to be enforced by cricket organisations who operate under the ECB’s jurisdiction. With the code formalised, it will allow for discriminatory behaviour to be penalised and face a disciplinary process.

“The primary aim of the ECB’s Inspiring Generations strategy is to make cricket a game for everyone and many actions are well underway and helping to make cricket more diverse and inclusive,” said Ian Watmore, chair of the ECB.

“While continuing with this work and increasing its impact, we are equally clear that all discriminatory behaviour is unacceptable and are committed to drive it out of the game through better governance, education, training, role modelling and behavioural change, but also through disciplinary action when necessary.

“Continuing to listen to the experiences of people, whether positive or negative, and engaging with independent expertise will help to inform, strengthen and challenge our thinking and plans as we move forward. Taken together, these steps will ensure that the ECB achieves lasting change.”

Tom Harrison, ECB CEO added: “This year we have listened to many people from across the game and beyond, to understand where we must be better in making our sport inclusive and diverse, and tackling discrimination.

“The measures we have announced today, and the broader Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Plan we will launch, build on and accelerate the work we have already done in recent years. We will continue to learn how, as a game, we become more representative of the communities we strive to serve.”

The new follows from where earlier this month, former test umpire John Holder and ex-player Ismail Dawood called for an independent enquiry to take place into why there are fewer Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) match officials in English cricket.

The ECB will also be rolling out a full equality, diversity and inclusion plan for 2021/24. The work from the ECB on its diversity and inclusion will be led by senior independent director Brenda Trenowden.

Author: Jake Wilkin