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ECB welcomes government initiative

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The England and Wales Cricket Board has welcomed the empowerment of National Governing Bodies to deliver the balance between increased participation and facilities which was announced by the Government today.

Participation in cricket has grown by 27 per cent in the past year – 45 per cent in women’s cricket - and cricket's priorities are the provision of facilities, reduced bureaucracy, competitive structures and coaches to ensure schoolchildren introduced to cricket through the Chance to shine project are retained in a club environment.

The ICC World Twenty20 to be held in England and Wales in 2009 and the Ashes are fundamental building blocks in our plans to enhance participation.

David Collier, the ECB chief executive, added: “We warmly welcome the division between sport and physical activity and today's Government statement and cross departmental commitment to sport.

“ECB invests 20 per cent of its income in grass-roots sport and has a governance structure to immediately deliver on the Government’s challenge.

“Assuming matched funding is made available to provide the facilities to underpin the exciting plans for the expansion of participation, ECB believes that the partnership between government and the National Governing Bodies can make a step change to the health of the nation.”

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