June 13, 2020 / 5:23 AM / a month ago

ECB vows changes to address racism in cricket

(Reuters) - The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has acknowledged that the sport is not immune to systemic racism and says it will address the issue and try to bring “meaningful and long-term change” to the game.

Athletes across a range of sports have spoken out about racism after the death of George Floyd, a black man who died on May 25 after a white policeman knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes in Minneapolis.

“We have listened carefully to those who have spoken out in recent weeks about their experiences of being black in cricket, sport and society,” the ECB said in a statement. “We admire them for being vocal on this crucial topic.

“We know that systemic racism spans institutions and sectors across the country and we know that our sport is not immune. We truly believe that cricket is a game for everyone but understand that sadly, barriers to its enjoyment exist for many communities.”

Former England batsman Michael Carberry said cricket was “rife with racism” while fast bowler James Anderson said the team will consider a joint anti-racism protest with West Indies during their three-test series next month. [nL4N2DP10P]

The ECB said they had made progress in bringing the game to more people and that they would “break down barriers and reform our structures”.

“We will now work to engage community leaders and black influencers within cricket so that we can review and evolve our existing inclusion and diversity work and specifically address the issues raised by the black community,” it added.

“From there, it is our overall desire to create demonstrable action, in order to deliver meaningful and long-term change that permeates every layer of the game.”

Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Peter Rutherford

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