Broad Discrimination Issues Found in Cricket – Report’s Chair, Cindy Butts
A detailed report about discrimination in cricket in England and Wales paints a “discouraging picture”, says Guy Lavender, chief executive and secretary of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).
The Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket (ICEC) reported that racism, sexism, classism, and elitism are prevalent throughout the sport.
The report further suggests the discontinuation of annual matches between Eton and Harrow schools and Oxford and Cambridge universities at Lord’s. This recommendation will be under review, according to Lavender.
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Overall, the ICEC presented 44 suggestions, which include a public apology from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for their shortcomings, which was done by the ECB chair, Richard Thompson.
“It’s deeply disheartening to acknowledge the vast number of people who’ve been failed by the sport,” Lavender confided on BBC Radio 5 Live.
“The apology given by Richard Thompson on behalf of the sport was entirely appropriate. We are making substantial efforts to confront these issues, but there’s still more work to be done.”
“We are now facing a critical moment as a sport, and as a club, to determine how we respond to the recommendations proposed by Cindy Butts, the commission’s chair – a process that will take about three months.”
The report’s criticism that England’s women’s team has never played a Test at Lord’s was addressed by Lavender. In contrast, the “home of cricket” continues to host annual fixtures between Eton and Harrow and Cambridge and Oxford universities.
The MCC leadership initially planned to move these fixtures from Lord’s, but following objections from MCC members, they remained at the ground until at least 2027.
“In light of the report, we need to revisit this decision in the upcoming months,” stated Lavender.
“Any rational listener would concur that we need to assess whether both can be accommodated. The commission felt that it wasn’t sufficient.”
“The key issue is how to balance tradition while creating new opportunities for children and young people to play at Lord’s?”
Commenting on the potential for England Women to play a Test at Lord’s, he added, “There’s been a general consensus, particularly with the ECB, that women’s international matches should initially be played on smaller grounds while building a fanbase.”
“However, we set a new record for ticket sales for a women’s international match last year, and sales for this year’s Women’s Ashes surpassed that record.
“We’ve scheduled a women’s Test in 2026. We’re making progress, but there’s still more work to be done.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Cricket Discrimination Report
What discrimination issues were found in English and Welsh cricket?
The Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket (ICEC) reported that racism, sexism, classism, and elitism are prevalent throughout the sport in England and Wales.
What were the recommendations of the report?
The ICEC has proposed 44 recommendations, including a public apology from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for their failings and reviewing the tradition of annual games between certain schools and universities at Lord’s.
What was MCC secretary’s reaction to the report?
Guy Lavender, MCC’s chief executive and secretary, described the report as “discouraging” and acknowledged the need for a critical review of the issues and recommendations presented.
What changes have been suggested for the games at Lord’s?
The report suggests the discontinuation of annual matches between Eton and Harrow schools and Oxford and Cambridge universities at Lord’s. Also, it criticizes the fact that England’s women’s team has never played a Test at Lord’s.
What is the future plan for women’s cricket at Lord’s?
Guy Lavender acknowledged the criticism and stated that the MCC has scheduled a women’s Test in 2026 at Lord’s. He also pointed out that ticket sales for women’s matches have been improving over the years.