The strength of a team in cricket – both on and off the pitch – comes from the difference and individuality within it.
The ECB is committed to ensuring cricket is for everyone, connecting communities and improving lives by bringing people together through their shared passion for the sport. We are taking proactive action around equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) to create a game that belongs to us all, now and long into the future. Our aim is to make cricket the most inclusive sport in England and Wales.
Whether you are a young player, a long-term fan, a potential employee, a supplier, or totally new to cricket, you play a part in helping us achieve our ambitions. We are open about the challenges we face, the actions we take and the outcomes we achieve at all levels.
What EDI means for cricket
We are focussed on delivering equity, diversity and inclusion in cricket in order to make sure everyone feels like cricket is a game for them.
While we interact with people from all backgrounds in England & Wales, we also play with and work with people from around the world. Our view of what EDI is and why it’s important takes our role both at home and on the global stage into account.
Equity means creating fair access, opportunities, and equal possible outcomes for all.
Diversity is the presence of differences that enrich where we play and work.
Differences can include visible and non-visible factors like the protected characteristics in the UK Equality Act 2010 as well as things like educational background, introvert/extrovert personalities, accent or culture.
It’s not only about inherent characteristics. We recognise that certain aspects of diversity can also be acquired over time, like parenting and caring responsibilities, military experience or language skills.
Inclusion means having a welcoming culture for all people where they feel they are valued and respected.
Intersectionality recognises that we all have multiple, overlapping identities that may impact on our experience in different ways.
We may adapt different initiatives for different groups of people depending on requirements identified.
Why EDI is important across cricket
EDI enables us to build the strongest teams, inspire the most people, and achieve our purpose of improving lives and connecting communities. Cricket is a game steeped in history but if we are to remain relevant as a sport, we need to better reflect today’s society. By being inclusive of the people we interact with at all levels, we will continue to build a better understanding of how to truly be a game for everyone.
There are a number of ways in which we can create a more welcoming and stronger game by delivering EDI. For example:
Joining in: More people will feel confident to play, volunteer, attend, watch, and speak up when they believe they will be heard, valued and respected for who they are in cricket.
Talent: We want great people with different perspectives and skills playing and working across all levels of cricket. We want to start from the broadest talent pool with people across backgrounds and support them with equitable opportunities to achieve their full potential – whether that’s on or off the pitch.
Commercial: As cricket continues to evolve, we’re excited to welcome more people than ever from different backgrounds as part of our strategic vision to grow and grow stronger. This includes growing revenue to invest back into all levels of cricket and working in collaboration with commercial partners to address mutual EDI opportunities.
Decision-making: Improved diversity of thought and perspectives can bring us more relevant innovation for how we will inspire generations and evolve what we do. It can also bring better challenge to how we make decisions and manage risks across the game.
Brand: We recognise that everyone from players and parents to partner organisations want to be part of a sport that is socially and ethically responsible.
Visit our Raising the Game page for stories of individuals and organisations across the cricket network who are driving the game forward.
Our EDI strategy
Our EDI strategy directly supports the central vision in the ECB’s Inspiring Generations strategy. For cricket to be for everyone, EDI work is happening across the entire game. We recognise how much there is still to do, and as we learn more and society continues to change, we will constantly adapt our approach. Insights from listening sessions, data and EDI best practices help us to define and prioritise the steps we are taking, often in collaboration with many others, to build a more equitable, diverse and inclusive sport.
Game-wide 12-point action plan: In November 2021 the ECB, MCC, the PCA, NCCA Ltd, the First Class Counties, Women’s Regional Hosts and the Recreational County Cricket network jointly developed and launched a wide-ranging action plan to promote equity, diversity and inclusion at all levels of the game and to provide a game-wide response to discrimination within the game. The plan included a list of actions focussing on areas where we knew further improvements were necessary:
Understanding and educating more
Addressing dressing room culture
Removing barriers in talent pathways
Creating welcoming environments for all
Counties have published their own localised EDI action plans to underpin this, and to support the plan, the ECB has been collaborating with Sport England to help the whole game achieve increased diversity among its Boards; providing £25 million of strategic funding over five years to support EDI actions across cricket; and forming a new Anti-Discrimination Unit to ensure the ECB can tackle discrimination in all forms.
ECB EDI action plan: In November 2021 the ECB also launched its own EDI action plan “Cricket is a Game for Me”. The foundations of our EDI plan include actions to:
Empower people to make positive change across cricket
Build diverse teams that reflect the communities they serve
Develop inclusive environments where everyone feels welcome and safe
Lead with accountability and commitment