Thursday, September 23, 2021

ECB and wider game celebrate Rainbow Laces

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The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) will be celebrating Rainbow Laces alongside Stonewall from July 30-August 1.

It’s the fourth year the game has come together to celebrate LGBTQ+ inclusion in cricket, and this year the activity will take in the Royal London One-Day Cup and The Hundred – with The Hundred matches live on Sky Sports and the BBC.

Earlier this year the ECB supported what is believed to be the first fully inclusive LGBTQ+ game of cricket – between Graces CC and Unicorns CC – and in September the business will be represented in the march at London Pride.

ECB Chief Executive Officer Tom Harrison said: “I’m proud to see our game standing squarely behind inclusion.

“We’re driven by our desire to open up the game to as many people as possible. We want cricket to be a game for everyone and we want the LGBTQ+ community to both feel welcome and able to be themselves in our sport.

“The rainbow laces and the rainbow stumps are a powerful symbol of support, and it’s good to see the players and the wider game reaffirming our desire to be a sport that everyone feels they can be involved in.”

England cricketer Lauren Winfield-Hill said: “Wearing laces is only a little thing – and it might not feel like much – but the fact that sport in England and Wales is so proud to stand alongside the LGBTQ+ community these days is such a huge step in the right direction.

“Too many kids grow up thinking they can’t really be themselves if they want to succeed in sport, and it leads to people not being honest and not being themselves. A weekend like Rainbow Laces is about saying to those people, you can be yourself and be a sportsperson. 

“Cricket really should be for everyone and hopefully this weekend will help us continue that journey.”

Erin Williams, Sport Engagement Manager at Stonewall (she/her & they/them) said: “We’re delighted that the ECB is celebrating Rainbow Laces for the fourth time this summer.

“Sport has an incredible ability to bring us together, and it’s brilliant to see the dedication that the ECB has shown to LGBTQ+ inclusion over the years.

“This year saw the first fully inclusive LGBTQ+ game of cricket, between Graces CC and Unicorns CC, and we’re excited to see The Hundred matches throughout the summer. We’re proud to be working with the ECB to make cricket a game where everyone is free to play as themselves.”

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