Middlesex cricket commits to promotion greater diversity and inclusion
- Credit: PA
Middlesex Cricket, the professional club that plays at Lord’s and governing body for the recreational game in north and west London, has announced its clear intent to improve cricket’s diversity within the county and make a greater contribution to social cohesion across the capital.
Middlesex’s Board unanimously agreed the following statement at its most recent meeting: “Middlesex Cricket recognises the population within its area is amongst the most diverse in the United Kingdom and contains multiple communities, many of whom have considerable heritage in the game of cricket.
“Despite this, we acknowledge perceptions that the culture of Middlesex Cricket does not fully represent all of these communities and that there are systemic barriers within our structures, at all levels, which may prevent women; BAME, disabled, and LGBT people; and people of faith, from becoming involved in the playing, watching and administration of the game.
“Middlesex has a proud history of representation from BAME communities at professional* and recreational levels. Nevertheless, we believe more must be done to remove barriers, perceived or otherwise, ensuring cricket across the county is truly open to all, irrespective of gender, ethnicity, creed, disability, or sexuality.”
The Board therefore unequivocally commits itself to: Build trust between Middlesex Cricket and the players, parents and stakeholders in all communities within the county, through clear actions;
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Make every effort to ensure the composition of the Board, club management and senior men’s and women’s playing squads of Middlesex Cricket accurately reflect the demographics of the communities within the county, by providing opportunities to become involved at all levels;
Address any bias, whether conscious or unconscious; and promote cricket as a powerful vehicle for social cohesion in London and its environs, bringing communities together on the field of play by creating innovative new competitions at school and club level, accessible to all.
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The Board further invites the newly formed Middlesex Cricket Diversity and Inclusion Group to produce a clear activation plan before the end of December 2020, which aims to realise these four goals and is ready for immediate implementation.
*19% of the players that have made first class debuts for Middlesex CCC since 1970 have BAME heritage (39 out of 204 players).
Mike O’Farrell, Middlesex Chairman, said: “We recognise Middlesex Cricket has an important and exciting role to play in promoting cricket, and social cohesion, among a wonderfully diverse community, and we embrace the challenge to broaden the base of our game.”
Edward Lord OBE, Middlesex Director and chair of the new Diversity and Inclusion Group, said: “The Board has asked us to produce a plan which means everybody in the county, from all communities, feels welcome, involved, pro-actively supported and motivated to become involved in cricket, as a player or supporter. We recognise there is work to be done, and we aim to ensure our club feels accessible to everybody, regardless of their race, background, religion, gender or sexuality.”
Richard Goatley, Middlesex Chief Executive, added: “While we are encouraged by the fact that our men’s and women’s youth teams reflect the demographics of our community, we realise more needs to be done in relation to our Board, management and senior squads, and we have started a clear process to address this anomaly.”