The Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket has opened a call for evidence in the elite and grassroots game; it hopes to gather experiences of discrimination, highlight examples of good practice and set out recommendations to make the sport more inclusive
Last Updated: 08/11/21 11:43pm
Former West Indies star Michael Holding has urged individuals to submit any evidence they may have of discrimination within cricket to a wide-ranging inquiry.
The Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket (ICEC) has opened a call for evidence in the elite and grassroots game.
It hopes to gather experiences of discrimination, highlight examples of good practice and set out recommendations to make the sport more inclusive.
An online survey opened on Tuesday with submissions invited until December 21. Written evidence can also be submitted to the Commission, with more information on how to do so to be shared on its website next month.
The new chair of Yorkshire county cricket club, Lord Kamlesh Patel, apologised to Azeem Rafiq for the club’s handling of his racism case and praised him for speaking out about his experiences at the club
Equality campaigner Holding said: “This is a game that I love and have dedicated my life to.
“I urge anyone who has experienced racism, sexism, elitism, or any kind of unfair treatment in cricket, anyone who has a story to share about being included, welcomed, or supported to respond to the Commission’s call for evidence.
“Now is your time to be heard, to share your story and be a part of the change the game so desperately needs.”
The ICEC was set up by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in March of this year, and will use the evidence it gathers to inform a report on the level of equity in the sport.
It comes at a time when discrimination in cricket is in the spotlight, with Yorkshire having been heavily criticised over their handling of racism and bullying allegations made by former player Azeem Rafiq.
Cindy Butts, who is chair of the ICEC, told Sky Sports News it is vital they get a wide range of voices and evidence from across cricket.
She said: “Our call to evidence is now live and we’re encouraging as many people as possible to come forward and give their experiences, whether it’s on or off the field, whether they’re a current or former player, a volunteer, anybody who works for the ECB or any other cricketing authority.
“That’s what’s going to allow us to be able to examine cricket and say what the realities are.
“We want to be able to hold up a mirror to cricket and say, ‘this is what you look like, these are the kinds of experiences people are having in cricket’.
“It’s absolutely vital we hear from as many people as possible, that they’re able to give their experiences openly and honestly.
“What I do appreciate is it’s not easy for people to talk about these issues. We know it can be very difficult for people to talk about experiences of discrimination, which is why people can give evidence to us anonymously, with the confidence that it will be confidential if they want it to be.”