The ECB says it is committed to delivering “meaningful and long-term change” to the way that cricket is run in England and Wales, after acknowledging that the sport is not immune to the “systemic racism” that “spans institutions and sectors across the country”.
In a reflective statement, issued in response to the global wave of support for the Black Lives Matter movement, the ECB acknowledged that “barriers to [cricket’s] enjoyment exist for many communities”, and recognised the depth of feeling that has been expressed by the sport’s BAME community, not least the former England opener Michael Carberry, who stated this week that “black people are not important to the structure of English cricket“.
“We have listened carefully to those who have spoken out in recent weeks about their experiences of being black in cricket, sport and society,” said the ECB. “We admire them for being vocal on this crucial topic. We know that systemic racism spans institutions and sectors across the country and we know that our sport is not immune.”
On Thursday, James Anderson leant his voice to the cause, stating that the current levels of inclusion from players of Afro-Caribbean heritage in English cricket are “just not okay”. Anderson was commenting in response to a tweet from one journalist, who had established that there was a solitary UK-born, state-school-educated black cricketer playing regular first-team county cricket in 2019.
“We truly believe that cricket is a game for