Sunday, October 29, 2023

Expert calls for implementation of report’s blueprint to address discrimination in English cricket


Title: Tackling Discrimination in English Cricket: Implementing Change for Diversity and Equality


The recent release of a damning report by the Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket has shed light on the deep-rooted discrimination within the sport in England. The report revealed instances of racism, misogyny, and elitism, highlighting the urgent need for change. In this article, we will explore the key findings of the report and discuss the necessary steps that cricket authorities and other stakeholders must take to address the lack of diversity in the sport.

The Need for Change

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) issued an unreserved apology in response to the report’s findings, acknowledging the failure to prevent structural and institutional discrimination. This report comes 24 years after a similar investigation in 1999, indicating that little progress has been made over the past two decades.

Equal Pay and Talent Pathways

Apologies alone are not enough to rectify the issues at hand. The ECB must take concrete actions, such as implementing equal pay for women and ensuring equal opportunities for talent development through talent pathways in the school system. These measures are crucial in breaking down barriers and promoting diversity within cricket.

Collaboration Among Stakeholders

Addressing discrimination in cricket requires a collective effort from various stakeholders. It is not solely the responsibility of cricketing authorities but also local authorities, education officials, and the UK’s Department of Culture, Media, and Sport. All these entities must come together to tackle discrimination effectively by implementing the recommendations outlined in the report.

Overcoming Barriers: The Class System

The report highlights how the class system acts as a significant barrier to young people from diverse backgrounds entering cricket. To overcome this, the ECB needs to develop a comprehensive funding strategy that ensures state schools have access to cricket facilities and clubs. By making cricket more accessible to all, it can cease being an elitist game and become a sport that represents the diversity of society.

Racism, Religion, and Cultural Barriers

Discrimination based on race, religion, and cultural differences also hinders diversity in cricket. The report reveals that individuals with Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian, Hindu, Sikh, and Muslim heritage have experienced racism and discrimination within the sport. To foster diversity, positions of opportunity must be opened up to these segments of society, breaking down barriers based on race, religion, language, and culture.

The Importance of Women’s Cricket

The report emphasizes the need to address the lack of opportunities for women in cricket. It highlights the historical discrimination faced by women in the sport, such as their exclusion from the Long Room at Lord’s until just before 2000 and the gender pay gap. To achieve true equality, it is essential to prioritize the development and promotion of women’s cricket in England.

The Way Forward

Following the release of the report, the ECB has committed to working with representatives from the sport to develop a plan of action aligned with the report’s recommendations. This consultation process will be led by Clare Connor, deputy CEO of the ECB, along with a sub-group of the board. It is crucial that the ECB embraces constructive criticism and allows for meaningful change to take place.


The recent report on discrimination in English cricket has exposed the deep-seated issues that have hindered diversity and equality within the sport. To address these challenges effectively, the ECB and other stakeholders must implement the recommendations outlined in the report. This includes ensuring equal pay, creating talent pathways, tackling the class system, combating racism and religious discrimination, and promoting women’s cricket. By taking these steps, English cricket can become a more inclusive and diverse sport that reflects the values of equality and fairness.

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