• Saturday, April 13, 2024

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Progress has been made in tackling discrimination and making sport more inclusive, says ECB

The cricket board’s observation came following the evidence heard by the DCMS Select Committee on racism in cricket.

 

England players celebrate the fall of a South Africa wicket during a Test match at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

The hearing of evidence by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Select Committee on Tuesday (13) demonstrated why a big overhaul in cricket is required and why achieving that lasting cultural transformation will need sustained action over many years.

In a press release the same day, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said it was committed to achieving the change and has listened carefully to Tuesday’s testimony which will play a big role in helping it understand the work that is required in the coming days.

The board added that significant action has been taken across cricket ever since Azeem Rafiq gave his testimony to the select committee a year ago and progress has been made in tackling discrimination and making the game more inclusive. However, it conceded that a lot of work is still to be done.

Applauding the likes of Azeem and Jahid Ahmed who have spoken out about their experiences, the ECB condemned discrimination of any form. It said the probe and disciplinary process related to their allegations are not too simple and are also thorough in nature and will take a considerable time, given the number of allegations and parties; the extensive time period involved; and the number of potential witnesses engaged.

“We are working to conclude both cases as quickly as possible,” the ECB said.

“We welcome the change that Lord Patel is leading at Yorkshire CCC and support his vision of making the club one that everyone in the county can be proud of. We are appalled at the level of racist abuse he has also received and recognise the pain this has caused him.”

As the new year begins, the Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket, which has been looking into questions of equity in relation to race, gender, and class within cricket, will give recommendations on what further action the ECB and the wider game are required to take so that the game becomes for everyone. The board said while it expects its independent findings to be challenging, but at the same time, it also believes that the report can help in achieving the lasting change which is needed to rebuild trust among communities to convince people that cricket can be a game for them.

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