The Board of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has taken a significant step toward ensuring cricket is a game for everyone with the appointment of Cindy Butts to establish and chair the Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket, which will examine issues relating to race and equity in the game.
Ms Butts has extensive experience in senior roles spanning governance, inclusion and equity across the justice/policing sectors and Government. Her current roles include serving as a lay member of the House of Lords Conduct Committee, a lay member of the Speaker’s Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority and as Panel Chair for the Judicial Appointments Commission. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Kick It Out, the organisation for equality and inclusion in English football. Previously, she held roles as the Deputy Chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority and as a Commissioner at the Criminal Cases Review Commission.
As Chair, Ms Butts will work with the ECB Board to finalise the terms of reference for the Commission. She will lead the process to appoint a number of independent Commissioners who will bring further diversity of thought, background and experience to the Commission, providing constructive input and challenge to the ECB and the wider game.
The Commission, whose formation was announced in November 2020, will independently gather and assess the evidence of inequalities and discrimination of all forms within cricket and identify the actions the ECB will need to take to tackle these issues. It is known as the Commission for Equity in Cricket, in recognition that different groups of people face different access issues or barriers. The Commission will act with complete independence, examining any evidence it deems relevant and making the recommendations it considers necessary.
The Board’s engagement with the Commission will be led by the ECB’s Senior Independent Director, Brenda Trenowden, who is driving the Board’s work in the area of equality, diversity and inclusion.
Ian Watmore, Chair of the ECB, said: “The creation of the Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket is an important step in our ambition to make cricket a game for everyone. Cindy is extremely well-qualified to lead this work and will bring empathy, rigour and practical experience to the deliberations and recommendations of the Commission.”
Cindy Butts said: “I’m excited to be bringing together my lifelong love of cricket with my passion for equity and inclusion, to lead this work for the ECB. Over the coming months we will be looking to hear from a wide range of people who share a love of cricket, whether as spectators, players, coaches or administrators both present and past.
“While it’s important we preserve the best of cricket’s traditions, it is also important we identify ways it can evolve and innovate to attract and welcome diverse communities who can make an impact in all areas and at all levels of the game.
“I am committed to ensuring that cricket has a bright future in this country.”
Brenda Trenowden CBE, Senior Independent Director of the ECB Board, added: “Promoting equity, diversity and inclusion across the game is critical to the success of our game-wide strategy, Inspiring Generations, and our purpose of connecting communities through cricket.
“Whilst we have taken a number of positive steps forward over recent years, we recognise that there is still a lot of work to do in this area. The Commission will play a valuable role in helping us to really listen and understand the reality of the inclusion challenges in the game, so that we can focus our efforts to ensure that more people can say that cricket is a game for me.”
Details of how people are able to recount their experiences and submit information to the Commission will be announced in due course.
The Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket has retained Green Park to assist in the appointment of Commissioners. If you require further information please visit https://search.green-park.co.uk/ecb-board/welcome/