ECB and wider game of cricket celebrate Rainbow Laces campaign for LGBTQ+ inclusion in sport for fourth year running

Campaign activity will include matches in both Royal London One-Day Cup and The Hundred - with The Hundred games live on Sky Sports; ECB remains committed to pledge that cricket is a game for everyone and that there is no room for discrimination

Rainbow Laces (ECB)
Image: Rainbow laces and rainbow stumps will be a feature of coverage of The Hundred and the Royal London One-Day Cup

The England and Wales Cricket Board will be celebrating Rainbow Laces for the fourth year running with LGBTQ+ inclusion promoted across The Hundred and Royal London One-Day Cup.

From July 30 to August 1, all players will be sent rainbow laces, while the stumps across matches in The Hundred - all of which are live on Sky Sports - and One-Day Cup will be rainbow-branded as the ECB supports the campaign which is run by equality charity Stonewall.

Earlier this year, the ECB supported what was believed to be the first fully inclusive LGBTQ+ game of cricket, between Graces CC and Unicorns CC.

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Former Australia Cricketer Mel Jones reflects on the importance of the Rainbow Laces in making cricket a sport where everyone is welcome.

The ECB will also march at Pride in London in September.

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said: "I'm proud to see our game standing squarely behind inclusion.

"We're driven by our desire to open up the game to as many people as possible. We want cricket to be a game for everyone and we want the LGBTQ+ community to both feel welcome and able to be themselves in our sport.

"The rainbow laces and the rainbow stumps are a powerful symbol of support, and it's good to see the players and the wider game reaffirming our desire to be a sport that everyone feels they can be involved in."

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Lauren Winfield-Hill (PA Images)
Image: Lauren Winfield-Hill echoes the ECB's stance that cricket must be a game for everyone

Lauren Winfield-Hill, the captain of Northern Superchargers in The Hundred, said: "Wearing laces is only a little thing - and it might not feel like much - but the fact that sport in England and Wales is so proud to stand alongside the LGBTQ+ community these days is such a huge step in the right direction.

"Too many kids grow up thinking they can't really be themselves if they want to succeed in sport, and it leads to people not being honest and not being themselves.

"A weekend like Rainbow Laces is about saying to those people, you can be yourself and be a sportsperson.

"Cricket really should be for everyone and hopefully this weekend will help us continue that journey."

Erin Williams, Sport Engagement Manager at Stonewall, said: 'We're delighted that the English Cricket Board (ECB) is celebrating Rainbow Laces for the fourth time this summer.

"Sport has an incredible ability to bring us together, and it's brilliant to see the dedication that the English Cricket Board has shown to LGBTQ+ inclusion over the years.

"This year saw the first fully inclusive LGBTQ+ game of cricket, between Graces CC and Unicorns CC, and we're excited to see The Hundred matches throughout the summer. We're proud to be working with the ECB to make cricket a game where everyone is free to play as themselves.'

Winfield-Hill's Superchargers are in action on Saturday when they take on Oval Invicvibles at Emerald Headingley, live on Sky Sports The Hundred (via the red button), Sky Sports Mix and the Sky Sports Cricket YouTube channel from 2pm.

Sky Sports is a member of TeamPride which supports Stonewall's Rainbow Laces campaign. Your story of being LGBT+ or an ally could help to make sport everyone's game. To discuss further, please contact us here.

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