Following today’s publication of the ECB’s response to the ICEC Report on discrimination in cricket Stuart Cain, Chief Executive at Warwickshire CCC said:
“We’ve worked hard across the region to break down barriers due to race, sex and class but know there is still a lot more to be done. I’m pleased the ECB have responded so quickly and diligently to the recommendations and it will provide a much more robust national framework for addressing the issues raised which can only help us here in Birmingham, Warwickshire, and the wider West Midlands.
“As we get more detail on the proposals, we will weave them into our plans and hope to launch a refreshed set of ambitions in the second version of Edgbaston for Everyone before Christmas. This will highlight the practical steps we will take to make cricket a safe, welcoming, and inclusive sport for all with Edgbaston clearly representing the needs of the communities we serve.”
To read the full ECB response to the ICEC Report click here.
To read the full report: https://theicec.com/report/.
Further information on the ECB’s response to the ICEC Report:
The ECB has published details of further steps it will take – and which we will work together as a game to implement – to achieve these ambitions and to tackle some of the challenges identified in the recent ICEC report. Wide-ranging action aims to tackle discrimination and break down barriers for women and girls, people from lower socio-economic groups, and ethnically diverse communities. It will accelerate and bolster work already under way across the game designed to make cricket the UK’s most inclusive sport. The ECB’s response includes:
o Enhanced EDI education to help create a game-wide transformation in culture.
o Further investment in the women’s game – a minimum of £25m per year above forecasted revenues from the women’s game
o Establishing a new Cricket Regulator, which will be responsible for enforcement of regulations and carrying out investigations.
o Increasing match fees for England Women to equalise them with England Men immediately andworking with Metro Bank to triple the number of girls’ club teams by 2026.
o Collaborative work across the game to design an enhanced and expanded Talent Pathway that aims to remove barriers and increase opportunity.
o Developing action plans, as requested by the ICEC, to tackle barriers for state school pupils and Black and other Ethnically Diverse communities.
o Investing an extra £2m into charity partners to boost their work in breaking down barriers, particularly for state school, Black and British South Asian children, and young people – the African Caribbean Engagement (ACE) Programme, Chance to Shine, Lord’s Taverners, MCC Foundation and South Asian Cricket Academy (SACA).
o Developing a game-wide Volunteering Strategy.
o Providing support and training across the cricket network to enhance understanding of discrimination and the management of complaints across the cricket network, as well as launching a charter setting out clear expectations of both complainants and the investigating body to ensure a fair and transparent outcome for all.
o Including enhanced EDI standards in the next County Partnership Agreements (CPAs) from 2025 and adding more ambitious County Board targets for gender diversity and ethnic diversity based on local demographics. Venues hosting major matches will be assessed against their performance against EDI minimum standards.
Since launching ‘Edgbaston for Everyone’ two years ago, Warwickshire CCC has successfully delivered a number of initiatives which start to address the issues raised within the ICEC Report, with more to come in the next iteration of ‘Edgbaston for Everyone’.
o The Club worked with faith groups to devise a Multifaith Charter which defines how we welcome and serve our multi-cultural communities.
o An Inclusion Advisory Board was set up to help build relationships across diverse communities, improve understanding, and create ambassadors across the region.
o Making sure that Edgbaston has the facilities and services required for people of all faiths and backgrounds, including Multi-Faith Prayer Rooms, an alcohol-free family stand, more faith-based food and drink offerings.
o Edgbaston hosted the largest Eid-al-Fitr celebrations, which saw 2,000 people visit the stadium for prayers, and in April the Club staged its first Vaisakhi Cricket Festival that saw around 100 members of the Sikh community attend, including Edgbaston MP Preet Gill.
Addressing class barriers
o The Club’s approach to talent identification has been revamped making it more accessible for all children across the region. Any child can now apply to join our youth system by submitting video footage of them bowling or batting for assessment, with successful applicants invited in for a series of sessions with our coaches. Previously only local clubs, schools and cricket organisations could nominate players so the move throws the Club’s selection processes wide open and makes it accessible to all.
o Most costs associated with the Warwickshire pathway have been removed and bursaries are available for those needing support, ensuring that money is not a barrier for a talented child.
o Our youth pathway is made up predominantly of children in state school education.
o We work with the Johnners Trust charity which provides scholarships and grants for children from disadvantaged backgrounds to help buy cricket equipment and kit.
Promoting opportunities for women and girls
o There are more than 100 girls in our pathway structure, of which more than a third are from diverse backgrounds, and we’re involved in some amazing community projects, including an award-winning girl’s cricket scheme in Bordesley Green.
o During the 2022 Commonwealth Games, Edgbaston hosted the women’s cricket, bringing new profile to the sport and is the best selling venue outside of London for the women’s Hundred.
o The Women’s Ashes at Edgbaston saw one of the largest ever crowds for a women’s game and the first-ever female grounds team prepared the wicket, highlighting the wide range of opportunities for women in the sport.
Other work includes:
o A zero-tolerance stance on any form of discrimination and concerns can quickly be reported via our app or QR codes on seat backs. This saw allegations of racism at last year’s India Test Match leading to arrests for racially aggravated public order offences.
o Expansion of the Club’s disability Access Teams featuring players with physical or learning disabilities with four new hubs leading to wider participation across the region.
o A partnership with LGBTQ+ side the Birmingham Unicorns which has seen the squad join us for coaching sessions. And earlier this month, Warwickshire Cricket Board arranged the country’s first ever LGBTQ+ cricket tournament which was held at Sutton Coldfield CC and featured sides representing five county clubs.