Michael Atherton. (Picture by Philip Brown/Popperfoto by way of Getty Pictures)
LONDON: The dearth of Black gamers in county cricket is “clearly not adequate” in accordance with former England captain Michael Atherton. A examine carried out by Leeds Beckett College this yr discovered that there have been solely 9 Black gamers competing in county cricket final season, down from 33 in 1995.
“Once I began enjoying within the early 90s the ration was about one in 12 or one in 15,” Atherton stated on the “Cricket, on the Inside” webinar along with the Lord’s Taverners and Black Opal. “Now you may rely them on the fingers of two arms, perhaps six or seven.
“It is a complicated situation to clarify and there are all types of causes impacting upon it. The underside line is that is it is not adequate if you consider the quantity of expertise that is misplaced.
Solely three Black gamers have made their England debut since 2000 — the latest being Jofra Archer who’s in England’s squad to face the West Indies this week within the first take a look at.
“I believe the ECB have focussed on the south Asian venture and perhaps taken their eye off the Black group,” Atherton stated. “As a sport you need to unfold the web as far and broad as you may and choose from the utmost expertise pool.
“You don’t need it to be a closed sport, for the general public faculties, you need it to be a sport for all communities, proper throughout the spectrum. In the mean time, the ECB would admit that that internet is focussed too narrowly.”
Gladstone Small, who performed for Warwickshire and made 17 take a look at appearances for England, stated the dearth of Black gamers within the county sport must be addressed.
“I am positive the people on the ECB are doing all of the schemes for the kids to get them concerned, with the Lord’s Taverners within the internal metropolis communities. There’s tons being executed however tons extra that must be executed.”
English soccer has vowed to extend alternatives for the BAME group in teaching and managerial roles after Manchester Metropolis’s Raheem Sterling highlighted the problem.
Cricket suffers from the same drawback with solely two of the 118 managers or coaches employed by counties final season being Black, in accordance with a Each day Telegraph report.
West Indies all rounder Carlos Brathwaite, who shall be commentating on the Take a look at sequence, stated he was shocked by the small variety of Black gamers in English county cricket.
“That is a surprising quantity if 18 counties can discover solely 9 cricketers at that stage,” he advised the Each day Telegraph.
The ECB has pledged to interact group leaders and Black influencers inside cricket.
“In current weeks we’ve got mirrored, and acknowledge that Black gamers and followers, who’ve contributed a lot to the historical past of our sport, now really feel disenfranchised,” they stated in a current assertion.
“They don’t really feel as if cricket is a sport for them. This should change.”