Wednesday, February 1, 2023

ECB statement following DCMS Select Committee

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The evidence heard by the DCMS Select Committee today demonstrates why widespread change in cricket is needed – and why delivering that lasting cultural change will require sustained action over many years. We are committed to achieving this, and have been listening carefully to today’s testimony which will play an important part in helping us understand the further work that is needed.

Since the testimony given by Azeem Rafiq to the select committee a year ago, significant action has been taken across cricket and progress has been made in tackling discrimination and making the sport more welcoming and inclusive. But we are well aware there remains much more work to do.

We condemn discrimination of any form and we applaud the bravery of those including Azeem and Jahid Ahmed who have spoken out about their experiences. The investigations and disciplinary process regarding their allegations are complex and thorough and take considerable time given the number of allegations and parties, the extensive time period involved, and the number of potential witnesses engaged. We are working to conclude both cases as quickly as possible.

We welcome the change that Lord Patel is leading at Yorkshire CCC and support his vision of making the club one that everyone in the county can be proud of. We are appalled at the level of racist abuse he has also received and recognise the pain this has caused him.

In the new year the Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket (ICEC), which has been examining questions of equity in relation to race, gender and class within cricket, will provide recommendations on what further action the ECB and the wider game needs to take to make cricket a game for everyone. We expect its independent findings to be challenging, but believe its report can help to drive the lasting change we need and rebuild trust among communities to show people that cricket can be a game for them.

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