LONDON: The England and Wales Cricket Board has admitted that “systemic racism” exists across the country and cricket is not immune to the scourge as it commits itself to bring changes amid the worldwide campaign against discrimination on the basis of skin colour.
In a statement on Friday, the ECB said it must learn from the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement which erupted after the killing of African-American George Floyd by a white policeman in Minneapolis.
“We have listened carefully to those who have spoken out in recent weeks about their experiences of being black in cricket, sport and society. We admire them for being vocal on this crucial topic,” the ECB said.
“We know that systemic racism spans institutions and sectors across the country and we know that our sport is not immune,” it said.
The sporting fraternity has joined the worldwide campaign against racial discrimination. England players Jofra Archer and lead pacer James Anderson and West Indians like Darren Sammy and Chris Gayle have spoken against racism, supporting the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.
“We truly believe that cricket is a game for everyone but understand that sadly, barriers to its enjoyment exist for many communities. We have made progress in bringing cricket to more and more people around the country and it is our resolve to break down barriers and reform our structures everywhere across the game.
“In recent weeks we have reflected, and acknowledge that black players and fans, who have contributed so much to the history of our game, now feel disenfranchised. They do not feel as if cricket is a game for them. This must change.”
ECB said it’s important to “continue to listen to the voices of those who have spoken out, to educate ourselves and face uncomfortable truths in order to create action internally and throughout the game, to ensure long-term change”.
“We will now work to engage community leaders and black influencers within cricket so that we can review and evolve our existing inclusion and diversity work and specifically address the issues raised by the black community.
“From there, it is our overall desire to create demonstrable action, in order to deliver meaningful and long-term change that permeates every layer of the game,” the board added.