Kick It Out partnership with England and Wales Cricket Board
January 25, 2022
Kick It Out, football’s leading anti-discrimination organisation, has announced it will be partnering with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to identify and address issues of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) within cricket.
The events of the last year in cricket were indications that the sport and culture around it, needs progressive and inclusive change. Kick It Out has been committed to driving racism and discrimination out of football for almost 30 years, while also advocating for the inclusion and representation of underrepresented groups within the game.
The partnership, which forms part of the ECB’s new 12-point action plan, marks the first time that the renowned campaigning charity Kick It Out has ventured into sports outside of football. While some of the challenges remain similar across sports, cricket has its own set of nuanced questions to answer and obstacles to overcome.
As a result, the initial partnership between ECB and Kick It Out will largely consist of efforts to scope out and research the specific issues at play in the sport. Together with the ECB, Kick It Out will then highlight any areas in which they can offer expertise in developing and implementing plans to build a more inclusive cricketing environment.
Sky have also pledged £100,000 to support the project looking into cricket. This is in addition to the ongoing and long-term partnership between Sky and Kick It Out, which is focused on making sport more inclusive for everyone. The ECB have matched Sky’s donation, also providing £100,000 as an initial investment, with further funding to be discussed in line with future agreed actions.
Tony Burnett, CEO at Kick It Out, says: “For over 28 years, Kick It Out has been committed to tackling racism and discrimination in football, to create inclusive change. In 2022, despite the constantly changing landscape of sport and media, that work feels more relevant than ever. Cricket has been highlighted over the last year as a sport potentially in need of a new direction, when it comes to driving inclusion and equality, and we want to use the significant expertise we have developed in this area in football, to see if there is an opportunity for us to support in cricket. On behalf of Kick It Out, I’d like to extend our thanks to Sky for a donation that will fund extensive research and consultation into the issues cricket faces, whilst also identifying focus areas for the future. We will begin an exploration of where and how Kick It Out might be able to help address those problems, and through close collaboration with the ECB, we will determine what action needs to be taken by cricketing organisations in England.”
Tom Harrison, CEO at England and Wales Cricket Board, says: “Tackling discrimination in our game is the number one priority for us, and we are aware we have work to do in this area. It is for that reason that we are excited about the experience and insight that Kick It Out will bring to our efforts to improve the sport’s equity, diversity and inclusion practices. With their help, we hope to successfully identify and address areas of need within cricket, and I am very confident that we can foster the kind of sporting environment that genuinely promotes social integration and understanding between all participants and fans within the game.”
Jonathan Licht, Managing Director at Sky, says: “As cricket’s main partner in this country, we will do what we can – on and off screen – to help the game tackle racism and discrimination. Sky already has a strong football partnership with Kick It Out and now we will be providing further funding so that the Kick It Out team can explore opportunities to extend their work into cricket, and ensure cricket is an inclusive sport for everyone.”