Both the NatWest T20 Blast and the Kia Super League will have an extra splash of colour this coming weekend (10-13 August) when the cricketing family comes together to support the Rainbow Laces campaign.
Rainbow Laces is a campaign run by the charity Stonewall and aims to unite sport in support of lesbian, gay, bi and trans people.
ECB is supporting the campaign as part of its ongoing efforts to promote diversity within cricket and ensure the sport provides a welcoming environment for everyone at all levels.
The weekend will see thousands of people, from fans to players, put on rainbow laces to ensure LGBT people feel welcome and included.
Support for the campaign across the weekend will include:
- All NatWest T20 Blast and Kia Super League players and umpires will be given rainbow laces to wear during matches
- Rainbow flags will be prominently displayed in the pre-match ‘guard of honour’ welcoming teams onto the field
- A rainbow band decoration will sit on the stumps
- Sky commentators will be donning rainbow laces to show their support for the campaign
- The Rainbow laces flag will be displayed at county grounds together with big screen support for the campaign at all grounds.
Tom Harrison, ECB Chief Executive Officer, said: “Our thanks to Stonewall for inviting ECB to support the campaign and spread the message that cricket is a game for everyone.
“We’re proud to be a part of it and we will be encouraging as many fans, players and officials as possible to show their support for the initiative by sporting rainbow laces this weekend. It’s a great way to reiterate that all communities are very welcome in the cricket family.”
Robbie De Santos, Head of Campaigns at Stonewall, said: “It’s great that cricket has joined our campaign and is giving so much support and visibility to LGBT equality in sport this weekend. We know from our research that across all sports there are LGBT people who don’t feel welcome or able to be themselves. Our campaign is aimed at making sport, whatever sport that is, everyone’s game.
“We want as many sports, sports associations, organisations and clubs to join our campaign and be visible and proud of their support of lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, whether they’re players or fans.”
Sky Sports will be showing their support during the NatWest T20/Kia Super League TV double-headers across the weekend.
Steve Smith, Director of Content, Production and Operations, at Sky Sports, commented: “As a member of TeamPride, Sky Sports are proud to work with the ECB to support Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign across sport. Having covered the campaign’s continuing visibility in football, we are now looking forward to bringing ‘rainbow stumps’ to life at the cricket.
“Our dedicated Sky Cricket channel will broadcast live rainbow-themed Kia Super League and NatWest T20 Blast matches to screens across the UK and Ireland, encouraging LGBT inclusion and equality in sport at all levels.”