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Tuesday, November 16, 1999 Published at 12:17 GMT

Sport: Cricket

ECB war against racism

The ECB hopes to see more ethnic minority players at the highest level

Click here for a list of the report's recommendations

The England and Wales Cricket Board has admitted that racism still exists within the sport and has vowed to continue its battle against it.

The independent commission's Terry Bates: "The recommendations are many and varied"
A report into the issue was commissioned by the ECB earlier this year and its findings have again highlighted the problems facing cricket in the United Kingdom.

Responding to the report, ECB chief executive Tim Lamb said he and his colleagues were already well aware of many of the problems.

[ image: Over half of those questioned believe racism still exists, according to the report]
Over half of those questioned believe racism still exists, according to the report
"We must put the research which has been undertaken into context. There are no great revelations here," he said.

"We were always aware that some element of racism existed and we have not sat around idly and let it fester.

"One of the fundamental objectives of the ECB has always been to make the game accessible to all, and it will continue to be a key priority over the coming years."

The report revealed that 58% of those consulted in a questionnaire believe racism exists in the game in this country, while only 12% of more than 1,000 respondents believe the problem is ingrained in English cricket.

The ECB welcomed the report and announced that it hoped to meet all interested parties to discuss the implications of putting into place a wide-ranging series of recommendations.

Lamb warned: "Complacency on racial equality is not acceptable.

We must open our doors to everyone and ensure that all cricketers and those associated with the game are treated with respect and given every opportunity to participate in or support the game."

The following recommendations were proposed by the report:

1. An open-door membership policy to be written into affiliated clubs' constitutions and a code of conduct to be implemented to prohibit racially abusive comments and actions.

2. ECB policy statements to be formulated with regard to guidelines for (1) all Test, international, county and tour programmes; (2) public address announcements at first indication of racist chanting or behaviour - along with provision to ban offenders - at all major venues; (3) the appropriate training of officials and stewards; (4) An anti-racism statement on all season and match tickets; (5) no distribution of racist literature at grounds; (6) withholding the sale of a percentage of tickets for Test and one-day international matches until at most a month beforehand; designated areas at international fixtures where musical instruments can be played.

3. Regular consultation through agencies at national/regional and county level to monitor anti-racism policies.

4. Introduction of regulations to eliminate racist behaviour.

5. Expansion of ethnic minority schemes by county boards.

6. Improved co-operation between county boards and local authorities with purpose of eliminating racism and encouraging cricketing integration.

7. Initiation by county boards and ECB to promote literature bearing the `Clean Bowl Racism' motto.

8. ECB to monitor effectiveness of anti-racism policies.

9. Help and advice from county boards to ethnic minority clubs which might benefit from funding support agencies.

10. Encouragement from county boards for ethnic minority clubs to become part of the cricket family.

11. Expansion of county board scouting systems to ensure maximum opportunity for ethnic minority players.

12. Continuing equality training provided by ECB for all staff and extension of the policy for volunteers.

13. ECB to commission evaluation of anti-racism policy.

14. Senior ECB staff member to be dedicated to leading anti-racism policy.

15 Resources to be made available by ECB to support the report's recommendations.

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