The ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) has published its response to the Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket (ICEC) report, titled “Making Cricket A More Inclusive Sport.” The ICEC report, released in June, highlighted issues of discrimination in English cricket related to race, class, and gender. The ECB’s response outlines steps and actions to address these concerns.
The response includes the acknowledgment that the ECB is committed to implementing 94% of the ICEC’s recommendations. Some key recommendations include addressing the gender pay gap, promoting diversity and inclusion, and reforming school cricket and talent pathways.
The ICEC had recommended equal pay for men’s and women’s domestic and international players by 2029 and 2030, respectively. While the ECB has announced equal match fees for men’s and women’s international players, CEO Richard Gould expressed concerns about the timeline, citing financial pressures on the board. He emphasized the need to balance addressing discrimination issues and retaining top players in the face of competition from T20 franchise leagues.
Despite growing interest in women’s cricket, the response noted that the women’s game’s “definable income” remains significantly lower than expenditures, with a gap of around £20 million. The ECB plans to invest £25 million annually to boost the commercial value of women’s cricket.
The response reflects the ECB’s commitment to addressing discrimination and fostering a more inclusive environment in English cricket. However, there are financial challenges and considerations regarding the implementation of certain recommendations, particularly concerning gender pay equality.
The ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) has outlined its response to the Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket (ICEC) report by publishing “Making Cricket A More Inclusive Sport.” The response focuses on addressing discrimination in English cricket, with an emphasis on gender pay equality, diversity, inclusion, and improving access to cricket for underrepresented communities.
Key highlights from the ECB’s response include:
- Commitment to Implementing Recommendations: The ECB has committed to implementing 94% of the ICEC’s recommendations, acknowledging the need for positive change.
- Addressing Gender Pay Gap: While the ECB has announced equal match fees for men’s and women’s international players, the recommended timeline for achieving equal pay at domestic and international levels may be challenging due to financial pressures.
- Investment in Women’s Cricket: The ECB plans to invest £25 million annually to increase the commercial value of women’s cricket and bridge the financial gap between income and expenditure.
- Support for Age-Group Cricket: Initiatives such as Chance To Shine, MCC Foundation, and the African Caribbean Engagement (ACE) Programme will receive extra funding to increase participation in state schools and communities. EDI (Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion) training will be provided at county and age-group levels.
- New Regulatory Body: A new Cricket Discipline Panel with enhanced independence will be established to address misconduct and safeguarding issues.
- Rebuilding Trust: The ECB reaffirms its commitment to making cricket the most inclusive sport in England and Wales and acknowledges the need for meaningful change and rebuilding trust within communities.
The response reflects the ECB’s determination to address discrimination and create a more inclusive cricketing environment. While some challenges exist, the board is committed to implementing positive changes and fostering diversity in the sport.