With the recent happenings in America, the long-known societal faults have risen to the surface. There has been a new wave of debates about discrimination and diversity in all streams. Cricket has never been isolated from society and it would be unjust to think that the sport of the masses would stay mum. With revelations from people like Darren Sammy and Akash Chopra, fans knew that not all is fine with the game. Another update comes from England.
Ebony is the first black woman to play cricket for the English side. She feels that cricket has a lesser diversity as compared to football. Football, according to her, has a wider representation from people of color. Her words find some worth in the record books. It has to be noted that she is one of only four Black, Asian and minority ethnic women to have played for England.
As of now, she is the director of Surrey women’s cricket. Surrey, under her guidance, has even launched a scholarship program to increase the participation of professionals from the minority. There were, initially, 12 scholarships but the number had to double due to the growing interest. Isa Guha, Sonia Odedra, and Sophia Dunkley are other BAME women to have represented England. (Black, Asian and minority ethnic).
In an interaction with BBC Radio 5, Rainford-Brent emphasized on the need to have more players from different strands of the society. She further added that there is hardly any diversity in women’s cricket. She, importantly, suggests that the game has to reach out to the masses. The visibility of the game has to increase in order to attract people from all sections of society.
She says: “We as a sport are disconnected from inner cities – that’s not just a black issue, that has socio-economic implications. We, as a sport, have a lot of work to do.”
It is important to note that England and Wales Cricket Board had announced a major announcement in 2019 in accordance with its five-year plan to increase the participation of players of color. The game, intrinsically, is open to all but the guarantee of a level-playing field is the need of the hour. Authorities can only propose funds but the real change has to come from people and hence from society itself.