Thursday, September 23, 2021

ECB: Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket appoints four Commissioners and determines scope of its enquiry

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The Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket (ICEC) has now appointed four Commissioners, with expertise in cricket, equality and organisational change, to take forward its independent examination of equity in the sport.

The Commissioners are:

  • Zafar Ansari – a former professional cricketer who played for Surrey and England. Zafar came through the Surrey academy system representing both the county and England from a young age. Zafar is completing his training as a barrister at Blackstone Chambers and will commence full-time practice there from September 2021.
  • Sir Brendan Barber – Deputy Chair of the Financial Services Culture Board and a former Trades Union Congress General Secretary, Chair of ACAS, member of the Court of Directors of the Bank of England and Board member at Sport England
  • Dr Michael Collins – an associate professor of modern British history at UCL and Vice Dean in the Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences, with expertise in the areas of immigration, race and identity. Michael has direct experience of county pathway cricket and is writing a book on Caribbean cricket in England since 1948.
  • Michelle Moore – a leadership coach, consultant, former athlete and international speaker with extensive experience leading initiatives at the intersection of sport and social change. Michelle’s roles include trustee for the SportsAid charity, sitting on the Sport England Talent Inclusion Advisory Board, and senior honorary associate lecturer for the University of Worcester.

See website for more information: https://www.theicec.com/

ICEC Chair Cindy Butts said:

“This is a critical time for equality in sport and wider society; for making changes that matter and that make a real and lasting difference. We have seen how leadership in sport and the championing of progressive values and anti-racism has the power to positively affect the nation. Recent events have also put into sharp focus the racism that elite sportspeople still face and the negative impact it has on their lives.

“It is in this context that I am thrilled to bring together this team of Commissioners, with their expertise across cricket, equalities, sport, leadership and organisational change and their determination and commitment to making cricket a sport for all. They will bring both rigour and a depth and breadth of experience to the Commission as we examine the issues of equity in cricket.

“Together we have developed the scope of our work, which will include a focus on race, gender and class within cricket. We need to understand the pathways to professional cricket and, importantly, identify barriers to access that currently exist so they can be dismantled. We will examine written and oral evidence, current and historical, from those who have experienced or witnessed discrimination or prejudice on the basis of race, gender or class. The Commission will also look at the historic and current culture, including the governance and leadership, of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

“Our open call for evidence will be launched in the autumn and next summer we will deliver our report to the ECB summarising our findings and making recommendations as to how the Board can make the changes desperately needed to make cricket a sport for all.”

Cindy Butts was appointed as Chair of the ICEC by the ECB earlier this year, bringing to the role her extensive experience leading on inclusion and equity across the government and justice/policing sectors, as well as serving as a member of the Board of Trustees for football’s equality and inclusion organisation Kick It Out.

The ICEC was commissioned by the ECB to examine issues of equity in the sport. The Commission expects to complete its work in summer 2022.

The Commission’s full terms of reference are:

1.1. The Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket (the Commission) was announced by the England and Wales Cricket Board (the ECB) on 2 March 2021 to examine issues of equity in the ECB led sport of cricket (the sport).

1.2. The Commission will examine questions of equity in relation to race, gender and class within the sport including access to the sport, the pathways to professional level cricket, and barriers to access and progression through such pathways.

1.3. The Commission will examine and consider written and oral evidence, whether current or historical. It will encourage and take evidence from all those who wish to give it so that it can listen to and record the lived experiences of those who have been subjected to, or have witnessed discrimination or prejudice based on race, gender and class. However, the Commission will not investigate individual complaints.

1.4. The Commission shall also review the strategic decision making and approach of the ECB in relation to its work on race, gender and class. It will consider the types of data collected, and how that data is used by the ECB to support its strategic decision making.

1.5. The Commission will also examine, in the context of race, gender and class:

1.5.1. the historic and current culture within the sport;

1.5.2. the current governance and leadership of the ECB and within the sport;

1.5.3. the efficiency, effectiveness and application of the current grievance, disciplinary and complaints handling processes, whether formal or informal;

1.5.4. the whistleblowing procedures that are in place and whether or not they are appropriate and effective.

1.6. The Commission will highlight areas of good practice, as they relate to issues of race, gender and class, whether within the sport or from other sports.

1.7. The Commission will produce a written report once it has completed its work. If appropriate it will make practical recommendations as to how the ECB, and the sport, can make good on the issues that are identified. Where issues are drawn to the Commission’s attention that are outside its current scope (race, gender and class) and they relate to protected characteristics as defined by the Equalities Act 2010, the Commission will highlight these within its report and make further recommendations to the ECB in this regard.

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