The England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has unveiled the first phase of its plan to broaden existing diversity and inclusions strategies both internally and across cricket.
The body has identified three key areas it will look to strengthen, including; leadership and governance across the game, listening and education of others, and opportunity and visibility for role models.
Similarly, a new coaching bursary will be introduced for future black coaches, cricket provision increased in primary schools, particularly those which are most ethnically diverse, and a game-wide anti-discrimination charter and code will be launched to span players, coaches, fans, media and clubs across the professional and recreational game.
Discussing the plans, ECB CEO Tom Harrison said: “Alongside most of society, we have had to confront some uncomfortable truths in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“We have listened and will continue to listen carefully to the experiences of Black people in cricket and society, and we thank those who worked tirelessly and spoke bravely to open up conversations about the change our sport needs to create.
“We have made strong strides in many areas to become a more inclusive and diverse sport, but we realise there is a great deal more to do. This is the first phase of our new plans, and we know we can never stand still if we are to be truly inclusive and diverse. We will continue to listen to, consult and collaborate with diverse communities to develop further.”
The announcement comes ahead of the return of international cricket, when England take on the West Indies in a three-match Test series. Ahead of play before Day One, exclusive broadcaster Sky Sports broadcast a powerful segment featuring former England seamer Ebony Rainford-Brent and West Indies quick Michael Holding which highlighted the challenges of race in cricket.
"If you don't educate people, they'll keep growing up in that sort of society and you'll not get meaningful change."— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) July 8, 2020
Michael Holding and @ejrainfordbrent say that institutionalised racism must be eradicated for the good of humanity. #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/TIpdAcdZJI