ECB must tackle racism for public funding - parliamentary committee - Sports1
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ECB must tackle racism for public funding – parliamentary committee

Cricket has a deep-rooted problem with racism and public funding should be restricted unless the game can prove it is cleaning up its conduct, a UK parliamentary committee said in a report released on Friday.

The Parliamentary Committee on Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has called for quarterly reporting and monitoring through indicators developed by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

“We recommend that the government ensure that any future public funding for cricket relies on continued, demonstrable progress in eliminating racism in dressing rooms and stands,” the report said.

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It added that Yorkshire Cricket Club and the ECB would be invited to provide evidence on their progress in early 2022.

Former Yorkshire cricketer Azeem Rafiq, who described the sport in England as fraught with racism, appeared before the committee in November detailing the “inhumane” treatment he suffered at county level. Rafiq, a former England Under-19 captain of Pakistani descent, has previously spoken of being racially smeared and feeling isolated and humiliated – even contemplating suicide.

“My career was lost to racism,” he said at the time.

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Committee chairman Julian Knight said Rafiq’s testimony had convinced members that “there are endemic problems across the whole of cricket”.

“We were appalled by the language people used when they communicated with us after the hearing,” he added.

“This, along with the stories vilifying him in the media, shows that removing racism from the game will be a long and difficult road. However, this is a watershed moment for cricket in this country. Those who love and support the game are the solution. Part of it, they have to play their part.”

Scandal shakes UK sport and Spend Yorkshire Sponsor and The right to host the England international, as well as some of the biggest names involved in British cricket. New York County chairwoman Kamlesh Patel took over promising “tremendous changes.”

“Public funding for cricket must depend on real leadership and progress from the ECB to address abhorrent behaviour,” Knight said.

“We have informed the ECB that we would like to provide the committee with regular updates on the progress being made.”


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