Sangy Theivendra – City Programmes Executive
Prior to joining the ECB I ran my own business and volunteered at my local cricket club, setting and heading up the women and girls section.
As a passionate fan with ambition to make the game more accessible for women, I knew joining the organisation responsible for cricket across England and Wales was a great opportunity to bring my experiences to the table.
I have a fun and exciting role where no two days are the same! My main focus is to engage South Asian females into volunteering and the game in general, and I feel particularly proud to say we have introduced just under 600 new South Asian females to the cricket community. I’ve also been working on inclusion in the talent pathway for the Women’s England squad as well as building relationships with community partners, county boards, clubs and schools expanding grassroots cricket. I’m hugely passionate about growing the number of women involved in the game and being part of meaningful change to the cricket community and wider society has been an incredible feeling.
Since joining the ECB there have been plenty of money can’t buy experiences, including having a photo with the England Men’s team the day after they won the ICC 2019 World Cup and attending the live team draft for The Hundred, the first ever sporting bid on UK television!
I love that the ECB acknowledge and respect that individuals have lives & commitments outside of work. As a mum of two young children, I was daunted at the thought of coming back to a corporate role full time, however with the support of my manager, team and the company wide ethic, this has worked out perfectly for both me and my family and I really enjoy my job. I’m proud to be part of a business that’s making strides in sport to be truly inclusive for everyone and puts its people at the heart of everything - it really does feel like one big family.
Mishal Ghandi – Tournament Executive, The Hundred
As a massive cricket fan I was instantly drawn to work for the ECB, I feel very privileged to walk into Lord’s every day to work for a sport that I truly love.
I started working in cricket as a part of the ICC Cricket World Cup (CWC) 2019 organising committee back in 2018, being a part of the team that brought the Word Cup to life is a massive achievement for me. Towards the end of my time at CWC 2019 I had the chance to interview for a role as part of The Hundred team at the ECB; the prospect for working for a brand new format was exciting and luckily I got the job!
The company culture is a great part of the ECB, the open plan office means you get to know colleagues across the business and promotes an open and social approach to working; something that isn’t always encouraged at other companies.
I am currently a Tournament Executive for The Hundred. I’ve only been in this role for a short period but in that time, I’ve assisted in a number of key events including the first ever live draft for The Hundred. The great thing about my role is that even though it is specific for The Hundred, there are endless opportunities to contribute to all the functional areas within the tournament planning team. There is so much work that goes into organising a professional game of cricket and I feel like I’ve learnt so much already.
I think what the ECB have achieved by bringing Behind Closed Doors cricket to life is something extraordinary. During unprecedented global uncertainty we were the first sport to bring back international fixtures and paved the way for others, I am extremely proud to be even a small part of that team.
Tim Masters – Head of Participation and Growth, South West and Wales
I joined the ECB nearly eight years ago after a twenty-year career as a senior manager in the water industry. The ECB was looking to recruit people with transferable business skills to help the organisational development of the county cricket boards and the broader recreational game. As someone who had played cricket for 30 years and been involved in club sport as a volunteer and a coach, albeit in rugby, it was a great opportunity to combine my skills and my passions.
I work across six counties in the South West of England and with Wales. I am remotely based from my home in the Welsh hills and am out and about talking with people across the patch most days. My current role is to support the plans to broaden and deepen participation in our game in line with the ECB`s overall strategy of getting more young people and people from different demographics to participate in the game. My job is about giving the professional staff in cricket boards and volunteers in the club network the overall context and direction of travel. Everything I do is relationship management; we have fantastic, committed volunteers and staff right across the region and my role is to help them do what they love to the highest level. I have found all my previous experience in policy development, strategy, stakeholder engagement, customer service, and performance delivery has been easily transferable to our game albeit in different situations and in new ways which has been really personally fulfilling – although I have yet to find a use for my PhD in Quantum Physics!
I love seeing the positive benefit cricket can give to people`s lives. There are huge opportunities for our game to continue to do this, providing we listen to our current and prospective participants. I am passionate about great customer service and that is a change I have really seen in the last few years. When I started I would get a few strange looks when I started talking to club and league committees about their customers; there is now a much better understanding that we need to provide people with cricket that fits in with their lives. I am really looking forward to playing my part to continue this journey.
Lauren Crozier - Head of Female Participation
Cricket has this amazing potential to be a game for all. I can clearly see the challenges, but we are not at a standing start in addressing them. It’s been great to work with so many people in the business who are behind the ambition to transform the women’s and girls’ game.
In my role as Head of Female Participation, no two days have been the same. I’m at Lord’s at least couple of days a week, and I’m out trying to meet different people from the game at club visits and with regional teams. I’m also constantly on the lookout where we can learn from other industries.
For me, the Transforming Women’s & Girls’ Action Plan is my bible. Changing perceptions, building an inclusive club network and getting our cricket offers right. It’s spot on and it makes it absolutely clear what we need to deliver.
My best ECB moment so far was the Recreational Assembly. As I was only three months in, it was quite nerve-wracking but a good way to introduce myself. I spoke about how I saw the transformation to come from someone with a fresh perspective. It was great to hear positive feedback and excitement for the plan – reaffirming that we are moving in the right direction for the game.
By 2024, I want to see cricket completely normalised for women and girls. So when you ask a young girl in the playground if they think they can play cricket they respond with the same certainty that boys do. My role, leading the charge for female participation shouldn’t ultimately exist. We need to get to 50:50.
Anna Warren – England Women Medical Services Lead
Before cricket, I worked as a physiotherapist in the NHS for ten years. It was a great way to learn the trade and I loved it, seeing all kinds of patients and working as a massive team. I was volunteering loads on the side on the evening and weekends in amateur sport, triathlon, rowing – a typical journey into elite sport for many in my profession. Physio is quite tough at the start, you have to put in the yards, often in your own time to get the experience. That’s not unique to women, it’s a competitive area to be involved in.
It was a big leap of faith for me six years ago to apply for the internship at the ECB – I had never worked in cricket before and I was giving up an established career. I was just excited by the opportunity.
The internship working at the National Cricket Performance Centre in Loughborough was amazing – a very positive experience and moving out of my comfort zone was just what I needed. It is having good people around you, male or female which I think has been key throughout my career.
Now, as England Women’s Medical Services Lead, my job is very varied, coordinating a team of doctors and physios. I make sure we as a team are communicating properly and ultimately delivering really good care to the players.
I look after England Women’s academy and tour with them, so I might be overseas once or twice in winter. I also support any significant rehabs for the England Women’s team. An exciting new part of my job is to support the new domestic regional structure and The Hundred – Women’s Competition. There will be a new team of physios and doctors to support and planning is well under way for that.
Claire Gooch - Head of Facilities Investment
I got into cricket because I used to watch my dad play and the statistical side of the game always appealed to me.
I’m a chartered public finance accountant and I was working for the Audit Commission when a former colleague head-hunted me and said there was a dream job for me. That was a project accountant position for the recreational game, (mainly supporting the Facilities department) and that was ten years ago.
I started my new role in August 2018 when I came back from maternity leave. I’d had two years off in less than three years and when I returned I was promoted. That’s a sign of how the world is changing because there are places where that definitely wouldn’t have happened not so long ago to someone returning from maternity leave.
Facilities is everything from stands and pavilions to wi-fi, rollers and Sky TV installation. The recreational game has always had a formal facilities investment programme but we’re in the process of broadening that out into the professional game too and overseeing more investment over the next five years. This year we’ve introduced a new online application system for club funding. This process has always been paper-based and I’m really excited about the switch to digital, it’s going to revolutionise how we do things. For instance, this is going to help the process of helping 18 first-class venues to reach the new standards set by the ECB – including family-friendly toilets and baby changing facilities, and help them plan their long-term facility investment strategy.
We’re working closely with the women’s and girls’ strategy. We found on an audit of our c.5,000 recreational clubs that only c.850 had a women’s and/or girls’ section, which is less than a fifth – but that’s increasing already thanks to our strategy. We’ve enlisted architects to work on clubhouses as we take into account that women want different facilities, things like segregated showers and mirrors – rather than just assuming they’ll just have the same facilities as the men.
Cricket is definitely moving towards being gender-balanced but just imagine if we were inventing the game from scratch – it would be 50-50.