19 May 2022

By: Sport Industry Group

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has released its 2021/2022 annual report and financial statements in a year that saw a record number participating in cricket.

The report states that the sport has reached with a new high of 14 million playing, attending, or following cricket, an increase of three million since 2019. The report also highlights the progress in delivering both the Inspiring Generations strategy and the game’s action plan to tackle discrimination and drive equity and inclusivity at every level.

This year’s Financial Statements show the financial challenges of Covid were less severe than in 2020, with turnover of £303m (up £96m from 2021) and profit before tax of £21.5m, enabling important investment to continue across the game.

£16.6m was distributed in revenue grants across the recreational cricket network last year, and more than £10m was invested into capital projects across the professional and recreational clubs.

Increased participation and viewership of cricket across the year was a highlight of the report. The year has seen 1.4m children who playing cricket, with girls’ share the highest ever seen (34%), 20,000 more recreational fixtures in 2021 vs 2019 and County Championship live streams up 65% year on year. The launch of The Hundred with over 510,000 tickets sold and issued and 267,000 attending the women’s fixtures – a record for a women’s competition globally.

In recent months, the whole cricket network has been focused on delivering a wide-ranging action plan agreed in November 2021 to tackle racism and promote inclusion and diversity at all levels of the game.

To underpin the actions taken across the cricket network, the ECB has committed to providing additional resources in support of consistent progress across the game, including £25 million of strategic funding over five years in support of equity, diversity and inclusion actions.

Chief Executive Officer, ECB, Tom Harrison commented, “When we launched Inspiring Generations two and a half years ago, our ambition was to make cricket a game for everyone. It is an ambitious plan to make our game mean more to more people, and the whole game is working in partnership to deliver it.

“With a record 14m playing, attending or following our game, it shows the investment we have been able to make in cricket is working. It is also testament to the hard work of so many people in getting through the Pandemic that we have been able to bounce back so strongly as a sport.

“The last 12 months have underlined the importance of what we are trying to achieve, and also demonstrated how much further we need to go to deliver change more quickly. Meaningful and systemic change takes time, but we are already making progress on that difficult journey. This report shines a light on some of the work that is already making a difference.”