Sussex players and coaching staff will take part in a moment of unity before the start of play on the opening day of their LV=Insurance County Championship match against Lancashire as the game comes together and shows solidarity in its commitment to eradicate any form of discrimination from cricket.
This will be the first of these moments, which will take place before the start of play at specific points throughout the season. Their introduction follows consultation with the PCA, player representatives from the women’s and men’s game and First-Class Counties. Individual teams and players will be able choose how to take part and express support for this important message.
Tomorrow's moment of unity will follow a reaffirmation on Wednesday by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) of its commitment to driving out all forms of discrimination from cricket.
A new Anti-Discrimination Code of Conduct is in place across the professional game and will be rolled out across recreational leagues and clubs that fall under the ECB’s jurisdiction as the season gets underway. This will ensure that any incidence of discrimination can be subject to disciplinary processes and sanctions.
The implementation of the Anti-Discrimination Code of Conduct will build on the work the ECB has undertaken to tackle discrimination and promote greater inclusion and diversity across the game. Over the past six months, these actions include:
- The creation of the Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket, which will examine all issues relating to race and equity in cricket.
- A partnership with the PCA to deliver an anti-racism education programme to professional cricketers, academy players, coaches and support staff. The programme, which has already been rolled out to 917 people across 65 sessions, raises awareness of cultural differences and unconscious bias specifically in the context of racism in professional cricket, and address issues such as workplace banter and inappropriate non-verbal behaviour.
- The creation of bursaries to help increase diversity among coaches across the game by enabling people from under-represented groups to gain qualifications. To date, 10 bursaries have been awarded on the advanced and specialist coaching courses and 1,000 on the Foundation course.
- A re-evaluation of the way in which ECB attracts, develops and performance manages its match officials, in order to increase the diversity of our officiating, inspire the next generation of umpires and match referees and ensure a culture of inclusivity and fairness throughout.
Over the coming months, the ECB will build on its existing work with a range of new initiatives to make cricket more inclusive and diverse as well as providing a clear framework to drive out discrimination.
Tom Harrison, ECB Chief Executive Officer, said: “We remain absolutely committed in our resolve to stamp out any form of discrimination and to make the game more inclusive and diverse.
“The new Anti-Discrimination Code of Conduct sends a clear message that any discriminatory behaviour will be dealt with through disciplinary processes and sanctions. Over the coming months we will build on the actions already taken to launch a number of new initiatives that will help us in our next step towards making cricket a truly inclusive and diverse sport.”