ECB hires workforce transformation firm to weed out racism, discrimination in cricket

London, April 2 (IANS) The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has appointed workforce transformation firm, EY Lane4, to improve dressing room culture in men’s and women’s professional teams, and is also expanding its ACE programme to provide opportunities to more children from Black communities to play cricket in a bid to tackle racism and all forms of discrimination in the sport.

Former Yorkshire county cricketer of Pakistani origin Azeem Rafiq had spoken on racism, abuse, and bullying while making an appearance in front of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee hearing in November last year, which resulted in the ECB implementing cricket’s action plan to tackle racism and promote inclusion and diversity at all levels of the game.

ECB said in a statement on Friday evening that it had appointed EY Lane4 to conduct a review of dressing room cultures across professional cricket in England and Wales.

“EY Lane4 specialise in developing high performance cultures, teams and leaders with extensive expertise in diversity, equity and inclusiveness.

“The review will build understanding of what is working well in professional cricket environments as well as identifying how cricket can achieve healthy and high-performing cultures. EY Lane4, which was originally founded by Olympic gold medallist Adrian Moorhouse prior to becoming part of EY last year, has started the review with a series of design workshops involving representatives from across the professional game.

“The review will run across the 2022 season and will assess the culture of men’s and women’s domestic environments, as well as England men red ball, England men white ball and England women. Findings and recommendations will be reported in September,” ECB said in a statement.

The ECB also said it will fund the expansion of the ACE programme, the independent charity designed to engage a new generation of players from Black communities within the recreational game and talent pathway.

“Following its successful expansion in Birmingham and Bristol during 2021, ACE will establish programmes in four more locations (Nottingham, Manchester, Leeds and additional London boroughs) so that it can provide opportunities to more children from Black communities to play cricket,” ECB added.

The ECB also said that it had put in place a “game-wide system for reporting discrimination”, which would allow anyone to report an incident of discrimination that they have experienced in cricket.

“The new game-wide system is operated by the ECB with support from independent experts Red Snapper, who provide advice and support to the ECB and the Counties in managing the reporting process and investigating and responding to complaints,” ECB said.