Essex Cricket Response to ICEC Report


The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has published details of further steps it will take to make cricket more inclusive in response to the recent report by the Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket (ICEC).

In conjunction, Essex Cricket (EC) would like to go on record with its unequivocal support for the ECB’s response, recognising the need for wide-ranging change throughout the game in order to achieve that aim.

EC is also publishing details of its own undertakings on a more localised level as all parties strive to achieve the goal of making cricket the most inclusive sport in England and Wales.

Richard Thompson, ECB Chair, said: “On the day the ICEC published its report, I apologised without reservation on behalf of cricket’s wider leadership to anyone who has suffered discrimination or felt excluded from our sport.

“As well as reiterating that apology here, I reaffirm our absolute commitment that cricket will strive to become the most inclusive sport in England and Wales.

“There is no doubt that the ICEC highlighted to great effect the impact of discrimination on individuals and the extent of the systemic challenges to be addressed.

“Its in-depth analysis also presented an opportunity to put in place a comprehensive plan of action that will deliver meaningful change and rebuild trust among the communities we serve.

“This response represents a set of actions that will accelerate and intensify our work to make cricket a game for everyone, actions that cricket can deliver and fund within an achievable timeframe.

“It builds on a huge amount of work which is already under way right across the network. Cricket hasn’t got it right in the past, but this is an opportunity to move forwards together.

“I’d urge everyone to now come together, to put their energy and effort into delivering these actions, and to playing their part in ensuring cricket becomes England and Wales’s most inclusive team sport.”

Rachel Lewis, Chair of the Essex Cricket in the Community (ECiC) Board, added: “Essex Cricket is proud of the work it has done and continues to do in order to follow up on the recommendations laid out in the ICEC report.

“However, we recognise that significantly more work is required to ensure that the aims arising from those recommendations become reality.

“At Essex Cricket, we are determined to do more at a local level, and support the ECB in its wider jurisdiction, as we work towards a shared vision of opening the game up to everyone, regardless of their background.”

EC has aimed to strengthen links with the state school sector, training more than 700 teachers to deliver cricket sessions, and there are now more than 10,000 pupils taking part in EC-run primary school competitions.

The most evident increase in this area is in Years 5 and 6, where there has been a 54% rise in participation among pupils in those age groups.

In addition, funding of £10,000 has been provided towards secondary school competitions, and in 2023 EC was delighted to welcome 300 teams in these competitions across 80 schools.

Of those 300, 80 were girls’ teams, and a total of 3,000 students took part, while EC has already seen 14 new schools register their interest in participating in the competitions in 2024.

There are eight MCC Foundation hubs within EC’s remit, encompassing Leyton, Thurrock, Newham, Colchester, and Felsted, and which comprise 288 young participants, split into 176 boys and 112 girls.

Funds of £70,000 have also been directed towards the Leyton Urban Cricket Hub, and a multi-year partnership with the South Asian Cricket Association, another of the ECB’s funded partners, has been established.

On the EC Pathway, 50% of all players are currently state-educated, while 57% of boys and 20% of girls on the Pathway identify as being from an ethnic minority background.

Follow the links to view further resources on the ICEC report:
• ECB response on the ICEC report – view here
• Essex Cricket’s E.A.G.L.E.S EDI Action Plan – view here

Should you have any concerns following the release of the ICEC report today or would like to raise any concerns on discrimination, then please email [email protected].