If there is one sport that totally captivates me and I am truly passionate about it is cricket. And to have had so much of the season taken away by Covid-19 has been frustrating; however, cricket pales into insignificance compared to the deaths we have seen over the last few months. Alongside the Covid headlines we have also seen issues raised by BlackLivesMatter making the headlines. Since the murder of George Floyd we have seen sport take a leading role in speaking out about racism and barriers experienced, particularly by those from BAME communities. I have found it heartening that many sports governing bodies have not shied away from making their positions clear but equally disappointing that the feedback from some grassroots supporters shows that there is still a long, long way to go. Cricket is not immune from this and some scratching beneath the gentile and respectful surface can show a environment where individuals from BAME communities face barriers in being heard.
To be fair the ECB have been clear and forthright in their position on this and in recognising that they have much work to do in righting some of these wrongs.
As I say, cricket is a sport I love and long for it to be a sport that is played by all and enjoyed by all and that is way I was so moved to see the interviews given by former West Indian fast bowler Michael Holding and England’s first black female player Ebony Rainford-Brent, speaking from the heart and with courage.
The interviews can be found here
Credit also to Nasser Hussain for a clear and direct message “We have been turning away for too long”.
Just a quick scan of various county cricket board websites shows little or no information regarding this vital issues…are we still playing catch up?
And with regard to my own cricket board, Lincolnshire, I offer JUST Lincolnshire’s support and help to facilitate a discussion.
In the mean time, I have just heard we will have a season of some sort.. Hurrah!!! If I see you in the pavilion lets have a chat and a drink.