ECB pledge £1M to install multi-faith prayer rooms at EVERY county cricket ground

0
64


ECB pledge £1M to install multi-faith prayer rooms at EVERY county cricket ground – as counties are told to increase diversity after sport was widely condemned for its handling of Azeem Rafiq’s racism allegations against Yorkshire

  • Sportsmail has learned the ECB are making grants of up to £100,000 available
  • The grants include money to improve facilities in areas related to accessibility
  • The ECB’s move to make the first-class game more inclusive for players of all faiths and cultures is part of their 12-point diversity action plan 
  • ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said the fallout from Rafiq’s appearance in front of a parliamentary select committee was an ‘earthquake’ for cricket 


The ECB have committed to paying around £1million to install multi-faith prayer rooms at every county cricket ground before the start of the season.

Sportsmail has learned the governing body are making grants of up to £100,000 available to each county as part of their attempt to improve the diversity of the sport.

The seven main Test venues including Lord’s and the Oval already have multi-faith rooms, but the 11 other counties who do not regularly host international cricket such as Leicestershire and Somerset have been told they must make their grounds more inclusive, with the ECB footing the bill.

The grants will also include money to improve county facilities in areas related to accessibility, such as better changing facilities for women players, the provision of sensory rooms and more accessible seating for fans with disabilities.

The ECB’s move to make the first-class game more inclusive for players of all faiths and cultures is part of their 12-point diversity action plan, unveiled last November after the sport was widely condemned for its handling of Azeem Rafiq’s racism allegations against Yorkshire.

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said the fallout from Rafiq’s appearance in front of a parliamentary select committee was an ‘earthquake’ for cricket.

The ECB have committed to paying around £1million to install multi-faith prayer rooms at every county cricket ground (eg: Headingley, pic)

Sportsmail has learned the governing body are making grants of up to £100,000 available to each county as part of their attempt to improve the diversity of the sport (pic: prayer room at Manchester Airport)

The ECB have committed to paying around £1million to install multi-faith prayer rooms (eg: at Manchester Airport, right) at every county cricket ground (eg: Headingley, left)

The ECB is looking to make cricket more inclusive following its handling of Azeem Rafiq’s (pic) racism allegations against Yorkshire

The ECB is looking to make cricket more inclusive following its handling of Azeem Rafiq’s (pic) racism allegations against Yorkshire

In addition to allegations of being racially abused by team-mates, Rafiq’s complaints against Yorkshire extended to the lack of provision made for Muslims at the club, including not being provided with halal food at matches.

He also outlined how he had been forced to drink alcohol as a youngster, leading the ECB to demand the counties introduce widespread cultural changes.

Counties who do not meet the targets in the ECB’s action plan, which include making their boards 30 per cent female and representative of local ethnicity by April, will lose some of their annual funding from Lord’s.

Other measures include compulsory diversity training at counties, the introduction of anonymised recruitment for senior roles and creating a standardised approach to reporting racism across cricket.

Advertisement

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here