An open letter from Sporting Equals and members of both our Sport Monitoring Advisory Panel and British Asians for Sporting Excellence.
An open letter to Stuart Andrew, The ECB, professional County Cricket Clubs and their sponsors,
Cricket has been making an effort to combat racism over the past few years. Since Azeem Rafiq publicly exposed the deep systemic problems the ECB, amongst others, have taken action to address these issues. The ICEC Report is a potential watershed moment for cricket and sport in general. For these initiatives we applaud them and the wider game. We wait to see if they will make a positive impact.
However, the potential reinstatement of Colin Graves as Chairman of Yorkshire County Cricket Club would undermine the progress made. His reinstatement would send a message that emboldens those who perpetuate the myth that racism is simply banter, that it is enough to pay lip service to policies and procedures. It would make a mockery of the suffering of ethnically diverse players across the country. It would be a rejection of the ICEC Report’s thorough investigation and well considered conclusions.
This progress must not be stunted.
We therefore call on the ECB, all professional County Cricket Clubs and all sponsors, backed by Stuart Andrew as Sports Minister, to ensure the following measures are taken ahead of the 2024 summer season:
1. An Independent Fit and Proper Persons Test established for ownership of county cricket clubs.
2. A thorough, fair, independent and resilient disqualification process to rid the game of bad actors
3. Mandatory training for all County Cricket Club leadership in inclusive behaviours and cultures
4. Mandatory establishment and publication of equality, diversity and inclusion policies, reported on annually by each County Cricket Club
5. Participation by all professional County Cricket Clubs in the Sporting Equals Race Representation Index, measuring ethnic diversity in senior leadership and talent pathways
Only by taking these steps can cricket truly become a game for everyone.
Ama Agbeze MBE (member of the Sport Monitoring Advisory Panel)
Ayaz Bhuta MBE (member of British Asians for Sporting Excellence)
Professor Kevin Hylton (Special Advisor for the Sport Monitoring Advisory Panel)
Fiona May (member of the Sport Monitoring Advisory Panel)
Manisha Tailor MBE (member of British Asians for Sporting Excellence)