England & Wales Cricket Board [ECB] has admitted that systematic racism exists across all institutions and sectors of the country and cricket is not immune to the scourge as it commits to bringing whirlwind changes to make the sport more inclusive.
Black Lives Matter has become the talking point in the entire world after the killing of Afro-American George Flloyd by a white policeman in Minneapolis.
“We have listened carefully to those who have spoken out in recent weeks about their experiences of being black in cricket, sport, and society. We admire them for being vocal on this crucial topic,” the ECB said.
The statement added: “We know that systemic racism spans institutions and sectors across the country and we know that our sport is not immune,”
‘We have reflected, and acknowledge that black players and fans now feel disenfranchised’- ECB
Amidst the worldwide protest, cricketers like James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Chris Gayle, Jason Holder, Dwayne Bravo and Darren Sammy have spoken about the rampant racism with respect to skin color in cricket.
“We truly believe that cricket is a game for everyone but understand that sadly, barriers to its enjoyment exist for many communities. We have made progress in bringing cricket to more and more people around the country and it is our resolve to break down barriers and reform our structures everywhere across the game,” the ECB said.
“In recent weeks we have reflected, and acknowledge that black players and fans, who have contributed so much to the history of our game, now feel disenfranchised. They do not feel as if cricket is a game for them. This must change.” it added.
The ECB added that it is important to “continue to listen to the voices of those who have spoken out, to educate ourselves and face uncomfortable truths in order to create action internally and throughout the game, to ensure long-term change”.
‘‘We will now work to engage community leaders and black influencers within cricket so that we can review and evolve our existing inclusion and diversity work and specifically address the issues raised by the black community. From there, it is our overall desire to create demonstrable action, in order to deliver meaningful and long-term change that permeates every layer of the game,’’ the board added,” the statement added.