ECB plans for the future
Giles Clarke, chairman of the ECB, joined chief executive David Collier this week in outlining their plans for cricket in the next 24 months and the success of the five-year Building Partnerships programme to the Government.
They met the Rt Hon Andy Burnham, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and Gerry Sutcliffe, the Minister for Sport, on Tuesday and then fully briefed the ECB board at their meeting today.
Clarke also updated the board on the vital role the Government was playing in working together with the ECB to ensure the successful delivery of global events such as the ICC World Twenty20 in England in 2009 while Collier reported on the successes of the Building Partnership five-year plan 2005-2009.
Clarke said: "The Government are one of cricket's key delivery partners. This ranges from assisting us to stage successful major international events such as the ICC World Twenty20, England 2009 through to the investment Sport England make in our grass roots programmes.
"It is therefore right that we have an on-going dialogue with DCMS to share our vision of how we intend to take the sport forward.
"I advised them of the great progress the ECB has made in meeting the objectives set out in our five-year plan Building Partnerships. The investment by the ECB of 21% of our income in enthusing participation in grassroots cricket sets a benchmark for all sports to aspire to.
"This includes growth of 49% in the number of women and girls playing cricket and our women's team retaining the Ashes in Australia. Gerry Sutcliffe has been an energetic champion and supporter of the progress made by women's cricket at all levels and I am delighted he accepted my invitation to open the women's part of the ICC World Twenty20 in Taunton on June 11 2009.
"In the coming weeks we will engage closely with the DCMS on our plans for taking cricket forward including the framework of our new five-year plan.
"This will include the proposals the board agreed today to increase the representation of women in the governance of the game and careful examination of the fit and proper person arrangements we set for those who wish to invest in cricket or have ownership interest in our counties.
"I also plan to discuss with the Secretary of State suitable arrangements for securing independent verification and input into the next five-year plan and how his department can assist in the complex financial arrangements that may be needed in examining whether people and institutions are fit and proper to be involved in the game".
In reporting on the outcomes secured as part of the Building Partnerships strategy, Collier cited the streamlining of the board and the committee structure at the ECB as a key component.
Among the considerable successes achieved within the Building Partnerships framework are:
- Increased Performance Related Fee Payments to 34% of fee payments to counties
- £5.2m per annum invested in representative age group, Premier League cricket and County Boards
- County attendances record a 23% rise
- Increasing the number of volunteers to more than 85,000 per annum
- Expansion in women's cricket (49%) and disabilities cricket (137%)
- Creating three England 'superstars' who are recognised by 10% of the population
- Increasing the community coaching provision to more than 24,562 roles
- Establishing a £10m interest free loan programme for community clubs
- Reward for counties providing players for England
- Establishing an England development squad of 25 players
- 20 England qualified players taking 40 wickets or more per season and 28 England qualified players averaging in excess of 45 runs
- Women's and Disabilities teams in top two in the world.
- A 21% investment of ECB income in community programmes