England and Wales Cricket Board launches action plan to engage with South Asian communities
Last Updated: 13/05/18 10:31pm
The England and Wales Cricket Board has created an 11-point action plan to try and provide better engagement with South Asian communities.
The governing body has identified a number of barriers which prevent South Asian communities, which include approximately one million cricket fans, from fully engaging with everything the sport can offer.
The ECB's plan was developed over a wide-ranging consultation over the past 15 months, and covers the entire sport including recreational cricket, elite player pathway and coaching, media and communications, administration and culture.
As part of the plan, the ECB will introduce the Rooney Rule for all national coaching positions, guaranteeing that one black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) candidate will be interviewed during the recruitment phase.
Short-term actions also include the creation of up to three urban cricket centres, the installation of 100 non-turf pitches in urban areas and installing or upgrading up to 25 turf pitches.
The ECB is also planning 200 Chance to Shine street programmes nationwide and cricket activity delivered in 6,000 primary schools, also through Chance to Shine.
Each of these short-term aims is expanded upon in longer-term ambitions which run until 2024.
The ECB hopes, while the strategy focuses on South Asian communities, it will also have an impact on the entire game and all involved in it.
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ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said: "We know that the passion South Asian communities have for the game is extraordinary.
"This passion is matched by our desire to get a bat and ball into more hands, introduce more people to the power of cricket and show a new generation how to get involved.
"We want cricket to be a game which brings all people and communities together from across the rich spectrum that makes up our society.
"Through the creation of this action plan, we have seen the incredible volume of cricket activities that is already happening at a local level in South Asian communities.
"This is a testament to the dedication of members within these communities. This passion, drive and innovation, which has contributed to such a rich and diverse culture of cricket within this country remains vitally important and will continue.
"This is our collective plan, indeed 'cricket's plan', to work in partnership, engage more meaningfully and grow the game we all love together."