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ECB launches One Game

The England and Wales Cricket Board has launched One Game, an ambitious project aimed at widening the appeal of the sport and ensuring as many people as possible are welcomed into the game regardless of age, race, ability or gender.

A key part of the One Game project will be the One Game Pledge, which everyone in cricket will be invited to sign as a public declaration of their commitment to a fully inclusive game.

England one-day captain Paul Collingwood will be one of the first to sign the pledge, along with the rest of the team at the sixth NatWest Series one-day international at The Brit Oval.

The ECB has also produced a One Game film. A 60-second celebration of the diversity of the game in England and Wales, the One Game film shows the many faces and settings of cricket and celebrates the game’s unique diversity and reach.

The One Game film will be shown on the big screen for the first time at Wednesday’s NatWest ODI and then at all subsequent televised matches.

The film will also be used to promote an inclusive game by cricket development managers across all counties in schools and clubs.

Peter Ackerley, ECB head of development, commented: “The One Game initiative gives cricket in England and Wales the opportunity to lead the way in ensuring we are inclusive at every level of the game.

“As the guardians of cricket, it is up to each and every one of us to hand our game on in better shape than when we found it.

“This philosophy and One Game applies to us all, at every level from the playground through to our international teams, from players through to volunteers and fans.

“Participation figures show that more people of more ages and backgrounds are involved in cricket than ever before.

“However, we must not be content with that. We must strive to become world leaders in making every person feel welcome and part of the wider cricket family, able to share the passion and pride of those already involved in the game.”

Collingwood said: “Cricket is one of the most diverse sports in the world and this is a chance to publicly celebrate that.

“We hope that everyone who signs the pledge from supporters to players will do their utmost to welcome even more people into cricket and make sure that the game becomes stronger at all levels.”

David Collier, the ECB chief executive, added: “The One Game project is a long-term investment by the ECB to further enhance equality in cricket.

“The hosting of the Twenty20 World Championships in 2009 gives us a great opportunity to show just how warm a welcome we can extend to the rest of the world.

“However, One Game won’t stop after the 2009 tournament; it will demonstrate cricket’s ongoing commitment to equality as a cornerstone of our sport.”