English cricket reveals anti-racism plans | Fairfield City champions

Tom Harrison, chairman of the board of directors of cricket for England and Wales, hasn’t ruled out an independent cricket regulator after admitting an “earthquake” struck the sport in recent weeks.

The ECB released a 12-point full-game action plan on Friday to tackle racism and all forms of in-game discrimination after Azeem Rafiq testified to MPs about the abuse in Yorkshire earlier this month.

“The past few weeks have been very, very tough for cricket. It feels like we’ve been hit by an earthquake,” said Harrison.

“The most devastating part of Azeem’s statement is that he didn’t want his son to be part of the game. That’s the hardest thing to hear for anyone in my job.”

One of the points of the action plan is a review of the governance of the ECB.

In a week when a fan-led review recommended an independent regulator for English football, Harrison said it was fair that the review at least consider whether this was the best way to go for cricket as well.

“We had a meeting with the district chairmen yesterday … whether we should be the regulator and the national governing body in the future,” he said.

“We will also have this conversation with the game.”

The “Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion” (EDI) action plan promises a redesigned blueprint for training players and coaches as well as a mentoring program for cricketers from different or disadvantaged backgrounds.

Teams must also diversify their governing bodies by April 2022 and commit to being 30% female and representative of ethnic origin.

“We have now set a number of game-wide commitments so that cricket can make the transformation we know is necessary,” said ECB interim chairman Barry O’Brien.

“Change is urgently needed, but we also recognize that it will take months and years of sustained action to make fundamental and lasting progress. It must start today.”

Australian Associated Press

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