London [UK], July 7 (ANI): England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Tuesday announced new initiatives like increased opportunities to BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) across play, coaching and employment and recruitment of Black influencers and stakeholders in order to "strengthen its inclusion and diversity strategy".
"The ECB today announced a range of actions in the first phase of work to strengthen its inclusion and diversity strategy and continue the change needed to make cricket a game for everyone," ECB said in a statement.
The six points announced by the ECB are as follow:
Cricket's governing body to focus on leadership, education and opportunity to address barriers and open up cricket to more diverse communities;
Changes to include increasing diversity in leadership across the ECB and the wider game;
Game wide anti-discrimination charter and code to span players, coaches, fans, media and clubs to launch;
Increased opportunities for BAME individuals across play, coaching and employment with a specific focus on young people;
Group of Black influencers and stakeholders to be recruited from across cricket to share insight and support further development of plans;
Plan to work cohesively with a five-year growth strategy, Inspiring Generations.
ECB further stated that measures announced include a commitment to increased diversity in leadership across the game, in addition to a number of other measures.
"The ECB Board currently meets the Sport England Code targets for gender diversity across Board members but will seek to advance further in other areas, particularly Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) representation. The Board will also work with First Class County and County Boards to support them reaching their own representation targets, notably, to have at least 30% women and a BAME target guided by the make-up of their local population - as quickly as possible," the statement read.
Moreover, a new coaching bursary will be introduced for future Black coaches, cricket provision increased in primary schools, particularly those which are most ethnically diverse, and a game-wide anti-discrimination charter and code will be launched to span players, coaches, fans, media and clubs across the professional and recreational game.
The announcement is designed to extend the ECB's existing Inclusion & Diversity action plan. The measures also build on the organisation's five-year Inspiring Generations strategy, created in collaboration with the game, which aims to increase the reach and engagement with cricket through projects such as The Hundred, transforming women's and girls' cricket, and the South Asian Action Plan.
ECB Chief Executive Officer Tom Harrison said they have to confront some "uncomfortable truths" in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.
"Alongside most of society, we have had to confront some uncomfortable truths in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement. We have listened and will continue to listen carefully to the experiences of Black people in cricket and society, and we thank those who worked tirelessly and spoke bravely to open up conversations about the change our sport needs to create," ECB's official website quoted Harrison as saying.
Harrison added that they will continue to listen, consult, and collaborate with diverse communities to develop further.
"This is the first phase of our new plans, and we know we can never stand still if we are to be truly inclusive and diverse. We will continue to listen to, consult and collaborate with diverse communities to develop further. We remain committed to learning more, growing more and achieving more with open minds and a single-minded philosophy to deliver on our aims - to see a generation inspired to say that 'cricket is a game for me'," he said. (ANI)