English cricket ruled 'racist, sexist and elitist'
An explosive report into the culture of English cricket has found it to be disciminatory in a variety of ways. Racism, sexism and a powerful 'old boys' network' have held many people back.
English cricket's governing body has apologized for failing to prevent "structural and institutional racism, sexism and class-based discrimination" in the sport.
"On behalf of the ECB and wider leadership of the game, I apologize unreservedly to anyone who has ever been excluded from cricket or made to feel like they don't belong," Richard Thompson, chair of the England and Wales Cricket Board, said in a statement.
The ECB were responding to a damning report from the Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket (ICEC) which made 44 recommendations for change. These included a call for equal pay for male and female international players by 2030. According to the report, the average salary for England women players is just over a fifth of that for England men for playing the short-form versions of the game.
"Our findings are unequivocal," said ICEC chair Cindy Butts. "Racism, class-based discrimination, elitism and sexism are widespread and deep-rooted."
Discrimination 'overt and baked in'
"The game must face up to the fact that it's not banter or just a few bad apples. Discrimination is both overt and baked into the structures and processes within cricket."
"Racism, class-based discrimination, elitism and sexism are widespread and deep rooted. The game must face up to the fact that it’s not banter or just a few bad apples."
Among a huge and stark list of findings in the 317 page report were: that the vast majority of non-white cricketers surveyed had experienced discrimination, that women are frequently "demeaned, stereotyped and treated as second-class," that the sport in England relies on a "private school and 'old boys' networks'" and ignores state schools and that the complaints system is broken.
The report comes soon after the high profile court case involving Azeem Rafiq found similar structural issues of racism at Yorkshire, one of the English games' most powerful county teams. It also comes in the middle of men's and women's Ashes series between England and Australia, the pinnacle of the sport in both those countries.
ECB chairman Richard Thompson said the organization would "use this moment to reset cricket."
"On behalf of the ECB and wider leadership of the game, I apologze unreservedly to anyone who has ever been excluded from cricket or made to feel like they don't belong," he said.
"Cricket should be a game for everyone, and we know that this has not always been the case."