The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has revealed details of a £2m injection that will fund a variety of programmes designed to encourage participation from ethnically diverse communities, state schools and people with disabilities.
The investment will span across the next two and a half years in an attempt to make cricket more inclusive and address barriers highlighted in the recent concerning report by the Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket (ICEC).
In a report called ‘Holding Up A Mirror To Cricket’, the ICEC concluded that racism, sexism, classism and elitism are widespread in the game.
ECB Chair Richard Thompson said the national governing body would use the report as an opportunity to “reset cricket”.
As part of the ‘reset’, the ECB will officially partner with MCC Foundation, African Caribbean Engagement (ACE) Programme and the South Asian Cricket Academy (SACA) to open up opportunities and talent pathways for state school, Black and British South Asian cricketers. Long-term partners Chance to Shine and Lord’s Taverners will also receive extra funding to deliver cricket to more state schools with high numbers of children on free school meals and for children with special educational needs and disabilities.
Richard Gould, Chief Executive Officer of the ECB, said, “If we are to realise our ambition of making cricket the most inclusive sport, we have to break down barriers which have stopped children and young people from state schools and ethnically diverse backgrounds realising their potential. These five charity partnerships are focused on doing just that.
“These partners all have a proven track record, and by backing their expertise we can give many more children the chance to play and to reach their potential. By working together in a targeted way, we can make more of an impact in addressing some of the challenges identified by the Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket.”