From 25–28 August 2022, the cricket community in England and Wales will be uniting in support of Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign, to raise awareness around LGBTQ+ inclusion and help make cricket a more welcoming place for everyone.
The elite matches taking place over the four day stretch (England vs South Africa Test Match, The Hundred and the Royal London Cup) spearhead the celebrations taking place, with rainbow laces being worn by those taking part.
England Men’s cricketer Joe Root said: “It’s great to support a campaign like Rainbow Laces. Cricket needs to be for everyone, and as players we need to keep doing our bit to demonstrate that we believe in that – that we want everyone to feel included and welcome in our sport.”
Research conducted by YouGov in 2017 found that 43% of LGBTQ+ people did not believe that sporting events were a welcoming space for them.
It is for that reason that the ECB, in conjunction with Proud Surrey, have set up a national supporters’ network for the game called Pride In Cricket. Its ambition is to provide a safe space online and at games for the LGBTQ+ community and allies.
England Women’s cricketer Lauren Winfield-Hill said: “I was lucky enough that I always felt able to play cricket as a young girl, but that isn’t always the case for everyone, and we need to work hard to lower the hurdles so that everyone is able to access cricket.
“The statistics demonstrate that an overly high percentage of LGBTQ+ people feel less welcome in sport, whether that be as participants or supporters, and we need to help change that. Rainbow Laces can play an important role in demonstrating to all LGBTQ+ people that cricket wants to welcome them with open arms.”