Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, Haseeb Hameed and Zafar Ansari created a little bit of history last winter when they stepped on to the field in Rajkot in the first Test against India. For the first time ever, four players from a South Asian background represented England together in the same match.
From trailblazers like Mark Ramprakash and former England captain Nasser Hussain to the current day stars, the England team has over the years always had players with a South Asian heritage.
There’s no doubt that Britain’s South Asian communities are cricket-mad. The passionate fans of eventual winners Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, created some of the most memorable sights and sounds from last month’s Champions Trophy.
In fact an England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) survey from 2014,, showed that 30 per cent of those taking part in grassroots cricket come from a South Asian background, but that figure drops sharply to just 6.2 per cent among players who appeared in first-team county cricket in 2014.
So whilst the there are top class role models at the very top of the English game and engagement levels at the grassroot levels remains strong, the lack of those progressing to the professional level remains low.
Why is this the case?
The ECB want to know; what are the current barriers to getting involved, what is going well, what are we missing and are there any new ideas that we could bring in?
The ECB want to ensure that cricket is a game for everyone; full of great experiences whether you play, watch, follow, or work in the game.
To help improve engagement at all levels, the ECB need to hear your feedback, ideas and thoughts on how they can do this for South Asian communities. So, if you are part of – or involved with – Afghani, Bangladeshi, Indian, Nepalese, Pakistani, or Sri Lankan communities – the ECB want to hear from you.
Through a series of workshops around the country this summer, you can let the game’s leaders know what you think and help make cricket a better experience for all.
At each of these events, your views will be heard and focus on key points that have come out of our initial research (see ecb.co.uk/southasiancricket for the full research details) will be discussed.
Your ideas and insights will help build the future plans for cricket in the UK.
Maybe you are a community leader, regular player, casual player, volunteer, coach, school teacher, an armchair fan or parent whose children love the game – whether you play any form of the game, are involved in cricket or not, everyone is welcome.
This is a chance to make your voice heard and we are looking for your support.
If you would like to attend a workshop, please email your name to [email protected] with the location in the subject line.
London – The Oval Cricket Ground, Harleyford St, London SE11 5SS, Thursday 13 July, 6pm-8.30pm.
Birmingham – Edgbaston Stadium, Edgbaston Rd, Birmingham B5 7QU, Sunday 16 July, 12pm-2.30pm (free tickets for the T20 match between Birmingham Bears and Leicestershire Foxes immediately after the workshop).
Dewsbury – Dewsbury Town Hall, Wakefield Old Rd, Dewsbury WF12 8DG, Monday 17 July, 7pm-9.30pm (free T20 Blast tickets for all attendees).
Bradford – Carlisle Business Centre, 60 Carlisle Rd, Bradford BD8 8BD, 60 Carlisle Rd, Bradford BD8 8BD, Tuesday 18 July, 7pm-9.30pm (free T20 Blast tickets for all attendees).
Leicester – Fischer County Ground, Grace Road, Leicester LE2 8AD, Wednesday 19 July, 6pm-8.30pm (Raffle for T20 Family Bundle Tickets on every table: 3 T20 home matches for 2 adults and 3 under 16s).
Manchester – Old Trafford Cricket Ground, Talbot Rd, Stretford, Old Trafford M16 0PX, Thursday 20 July, 6pm-8.30pm (Free T20 Blast tickets for all attendees – Lancashire Lightning v Durham Jets, Sunday 23 July).
East London – Hainault and Calyhall Cricket Club, Jack Carter Pavilion, Oakfield playing fields, Ilford IG6 2GL, Oakfield Playing fields, Ilford IG6 2GL, Tuesday 25 July, 7pm-9.30pm (meet and greet Ashar Zaidi, Mohammad Amir, Ravi Bopara plus others).
Sheffield – venue TBC, Wednesday 23 August.