A meeting of the ECB Board took place on Wednesday June 9 to address the emergence of historical social media content, shared by high-profile players within the game.
There were two matters the Board addressed:
1. The Board reviewed the policy around England Team employment and related disciplinary procedures. The Board is assured that the right processes are in place to make judgements on suspensions and disciplinary actions under player employment contracts, and, where necessary, in referring cases to The Cricket Discipline Commission under the game-wide regulatory system.
2. The Board reiterated its aspiration to become a more inclusive and welcoming sport for all, an aspiration that is severely diminished whilst discriminatory content remains in the social media space.
The Board therefore agreed to the Executive’s recommendation for a social media review to address any historical issues, remind individuals of their personal responsibilities going forward, and help them learn lessons along the way. The review will be collaborative, and involve other individuals within cricket, including ECB administrators and coaches, as well as players. The ECB will now work closely with the PCA, TEPP and EWPP to agree Terms of Reference, identify independent expertise, and will support those taking part through education and training to complete the process.
The Board was clear that this process would not prevent further disciplinary action in the future, should that be required, under the applicable processes, but it is hoped that the game can emerge from this difficult period stronger and determined to be more inclusive and welcoming to all.
Ian Watmore, Chair of the ECB, commented: “Making cricket a game for everyone is central to the game’s Inspiring Generations strategy. Celebrating our many brilliant role models in men’s, women’s and disability cricket is essential to that aim, and the right use of social media is a critical means for achieving it. As the National Governing Body, we must steer a path between helping individuals project an inclusive image, educating them on what is expected of them and allowing them the space to express themselves to the public. We must also investigate their actions and sanction them when they fall short. The Board was unanimous in support of the Executive in the actions taken by them in the last week and agrees with their plans to move the game forward in a spirit of inclusion, education and personal responsibility, whilst addressing those cases which cause most offence head on.”
PCA Chief Executive, Rob Lynch, said: “The last week has been an important period for all professional cricketers across our sport. We are committed to working with our members and the ECB on further education, and there is always more that we can do. We will consult with our members and work with the ECB to develop terms of reference for a social media review, which in turn, will lead to better insight and an opportunity to improve. Our commitment, as always in times like this is to ensure the ECB process is fair and considered and to offer support, advice, and education to all of our members.”