The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) says it wants “to change the game” as it publishes its response to a report detailing racism, sexism, classism and elitism in the sport.
Discrimination in cricket in England and Wales is “widespread” in accordance to the Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket (ICEC).
The ECB response accepts “most” of the ICEC report’s 44 suggestions.
They embrace the creation of an impartial regulator for the recreation.
“The ICEC report was a massive moment for the sport and a responsibility we take extremely seriously, to bring about the changes we all want to see,” mentioned ECB chief govt Richard Gould.
“We think we are on a journey to try to change history in terms of what cricket looks like and will look like.”
One of the suggestions the report made when it was revealed in June was for the ECB to situation an unreserved public apology for its failings, which chairman Richard Thompson did instantly.
“I want to double down on our apology to those we have let down and discriminated against,” mentioned Thompson on Monday.
“Cricket hasn’t got it right in the past, but this is an opportunity to move forwards together. I’d urge everyone to now come together, to put their energy and effort into delivering these actions, and to playing their part in ensuring cricket becomes England and Wales’ most inclusive team sport.”
With sub-clauses included in the 44 suggestions, the ECB says there are some 137 actions requested of the governing physique by the ICEC report.
The ECB says it has a “positive direction of travel” on 94% of them.
Some, resembling growing the match charges paid to England’s girls for worldwide matches in order that they’re equal to these paid to England’s males, have already been carried out.
However, the ECB stopped brief on committing to all of the ICEC’s suggestions on equal pay, which embrace equal common salaries at worldwide degree by 2030, equal salaries for The Hundred by 2025 and equal common pay and prize cash in different home cricket by 2029.
“Growing the demand and audience for women’s cricket is crucial to creating the long-term commercial conditions, which will underpin the achievement of our pay parity goal,” mentioned the ECB response.
“For all the progress we have now seen, the hole between the worth of business and media rights for the males’s and girls’s video games remains to be huge.
“By making a thriving, viable and strong future for girls’s and women’ cricket at each degree of the recreation, we are able to make actual progress in closing that hole.”
How did we get right here?
The ICEC was introduced by the ECB in March 2021 in the wake of world actions resembling Black Lives Matter and Me Too.
It opened a web based name for proof in November of that yr, receiving 4,156 responses. In March 2022, a name for written proof resulted in additional than 150 responses.
Among these to give proof embrace England males’s Test captain Ben Stokes, girls’s captain Heather Knight, former males’s captain Joe Root, World Cup-winning skipper Eoin Morgan, and Azeem Rafiq – the former Yorkshire participant and racism whistleblower.
The ICEC delivered its findings from the two-year investigation in June, on the eve of the second males’s Ashes Test between England and Australia at Lord’s.
The 317-report, titled Holding A Mirror Up To Cricket, concluded “structural and institutional racism” exists within the game, women are treated as “subordinate” to men at all levels of the sport, Black cricket has been failed and there is a prevalence of “elitism and class-based discrimination”.
The ECB, the topic of most of the suggestions from the report, was given three months through which to publish a response.
What is the ECB’s response?
In accepting “most” of the ICEC’s suggestions, the ECB mentioned: “Many we will likely be implementing by the letter – or, certainly, have already carried out. Others we are going to implement in barely other ways or to a special timescale, and there are solely a small quantity we is not going to take ahead, which we clarify in the report.”
As a part of its response the ECB mentioned it would:
- Invest an additional £25m per yr on prime above the forecasted income of the girls’s recreation up to the finish of the present broadcast cope with Sky in 2028
- Develop an motion plan designed to enhance the variety of state major and secondary college college students taking part in cricket – a £2m funding break up throughout 5 charities was introduced earlier this month
- Establish an impartial regulator to cope with issues of anti-discrimination, anti-corruption, anti-doping, misconduct and safeguarding
- Work with counties to redefine the expertise pathway with the intention of making certain finance shouldn’t be a barrier to expertise pathway participation
- Assess venues which have been allotted the proper to stage main matches with regard to their requirements of equality, variety and inclusion, and alter the allocations if there may be proof of non-compliance
- Publish an annual progress report and a full State of Equity Report each three years
The ECB estimates that price of implementing the suggestions of the ICEC report will run into “tens of tens of millions”.
It rejected the suggestion for the appointment of a devoted EDI (equality, variety and inclusion) officer and for a devoted consultant for the girls’s recreation on the ECB board.
The ICEC report additionally really helpful that annual fixtures between Eton and Harrow colleges and Cambridge and Oxford universities are not performed at Lord’s after 2023.
In March, prior to the publication of the report, Lord’s homeowners the Marylebone Cricket Club mentioned these fixtures can be retained for a five-year interval and reviewed in 2027.
“This is a matter we are going to want to proceed to hold beneath common consideration,” mentioned the MCC on Monday.
“Whilst this strategy could not go so far as assembly the ICEC’s particular suggestion, we consider that with all the initiatives MCC is supporting, each at Lord’s and round the nation, we’re placing a wise steadiness between respecting Members’ views, the membership’s historical past, and our dedication to enabling many extra cricketers to play at Lord’s.”
The ICEC report additionally famous that England’s girls have by no means performed at Test at Lord’s, however they’ve since been scheduled to achieve this in 2026.
What has the response been?
ICEC chair Cindy Butts: ‘We are fastidiously contemplating the ECB’s revealed response to our suggestions, we are going to share our thought of view once we give proof to the CMS (Culture, Media, and Sport) choose committee.”
ECB chair Richard Thompson: “There is no doubt that the ICEC highlighted to great effect the impact of discrimination on individuals and the extent of the systemic challenges to be addressed. This response represents a set of actions that will accelerate and intensify our work to make cricket a game for everyone, actions that cricket can deliver and fund within an achievable timeframe. It builds on a huge amount of work which is already under way right across the network.”
England all-rounder Moeen Ali: “The ECB have been trying for a while but probably haven’t got it right but now, finally, they’ve got it right with the projects they are starting to invest in and things like that. It’s a great opportunity for more people and more diverse people and it’s exactly what we want in this country, that sport and cricket is for everybody.”
Yorkshire chief govt Stephen Vaughan: “We are optimistic that we can continue on our journey to bring about real and lasting change, and whilst there is still a long way to go and much to be done we are committed on our mission and will work with the ECB to do everything we can to learn from the past and use our hard-earned experience to help support other clubs on the journey to improving standards across the game and making cricket a sport for everyone.”