Michael Atherton. (Photo by Philip Brown/Popperfoto through Getty Images)LONDON: The lack of Black players in county cricket is “clearly not good enough” in line with former England captain Michael Atherton. A research carried out by Leeds Beckett University this yr discovered that there have been solely 9 Black players competing in county cricket final season, down from 33 in 1995.
“When I started playing in the early 90s the ration was about one in 12 or one in 15,” Atherton mentioned on the “Cricket, on the Inside” webinar in conjunction with the Lord’s Taverners and Black Opal. “Now you can count them on the fingers of two hands, maybe six or seven.
“It’s a fancy difficulty to elucidate and there are every kind of causes impacting upon it. The backside line is that is it is not good sufficient once you suppose of the quantity of expertise that is misplaced.
Only three Black players have made their England debut since 2000 — the newest being Jofra Archer who’s in England’s squad to face the West Indies this week in the primary take a look at.
“I think the ECB have focussed on the south Asian project and maybe taken their eye off the Black community,” Atherton mentioned. “As a game you want to spread the net as far and wide as you can and select from the maximum talent pool.
“You don’t desire 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. At the second, the ECB would admit that that internet is focussed too narrowly.”
Gladstone Small, who played for Warwickshire and made 17 test appearances for England, said the lack of Black players in the county game needs to be addressed.
“I’m positive the folks on the ECB are doing all of the schemes for the children to get them concerned, with the Lord’s Taverners in the internal metropolis communities. There’s heaps being executed however heaps extra that must be executed.”
English soccer has vowed to increase opportunities for the BAME community in coaching and managerial roles after Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling highlighted the issue.
Cricket suffers from a similar problem with only two of the 118 managers or coaches employed by counties last season being Black, according to a Daily Telegraph report.
West Indies all rounder Carlos Brathwaite, who will be commentating on the Test series, said he was shocked by the small number of Black players in English county cricket.
“That’s a surprising quantity if 18 counties can discover solely 9 cricketers at that stage,” he told the Daily Telegraph.
The ECB has pledged to engage community leaders and Black influencers within cricket.
“In latest weeks we have now mirrored, and acknowledge that Black players and followers, who’ve contributed a lot to the historical past of our sport, now really feel disenfranchised,” they said in a recent statement.
“They do not really feel as if cricket is a sport for them. This should change.”