Cricket: Racial Discrimination

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 24th June 2022.

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Photo of Navendu Mishra Navendu Mishra Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment her Department has made of the level of racism in cricket in England.

Photo of Nigel Huddleston Nigel Huddleston The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

The Government is clear that racism has no place in cricket, sport, or wider society. The Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket issued a call for evidence following the Azeem Rafiq incident at Yorkshire County Cricket Club last year. This received over 4000 responses which indicates that the level of racism in cricket is currently far too high.

The Commission also opened a second call for evidence in March 2022 to seek more detailed views on a number of areas and is currently reviewing the evidence to form an independent report with suggested recommendations to tackle racism and discrimination in cricket.

We welcome the steps taken so far by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) but expect to see clear and sustained evidence of cultural change across the sport resulting from these actions. A recent update indicates tangible progress on a number of commitments; including the county cricket network having achieved significant progress to increase Board diversity in line with the targets of 30% female representation and locally representative ethnicity.

It has been made clear to the ECB, who have responded positively and constructively, that public funding is explicitly linked to the development and implementation of robust diversity and inclusion policies and plans.

The Government and our arm’s length bodies will continue to liaise with the cricket authorities on tackling racism and hold them to account on this.

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