Players’ union survey claims widespread racism in English cricket

More than one-third of black, Asian and minority ethnic cricketers say they have experienced racism in the game, a survey of professional players in England has found. The response came as part of a programme undertaken by the Professional Cricketers’ Association to tackle racism in the game.

Twelve of the 24 black and minority ethnic players to respond to the survey – of which 12 are current professionals, the other 12 are made up of past and academy players – said they had experienced racist abuse, something the PCA says equates to 38% of BAME members. In the survey, which was sent to 600 current and former professionals, but received only 173 responses, 11 players who identified as white or caucasian also said they had experienced racism.

Provoked by a response among their members to the Black Lives Matter movement last summer, the PCA says the survey will feed into an ongoing education programme for its members, which will include training in unconscious bias. The results suggest there is confusion among players about what constitutes racist behaviour.

While an overwhelming majority of respondents of all races said that counties allowed “players from all ethnicities to flourish”, 36% were uncertain whether there was a problem of racism within cricket.

Of those who said they had witnessed or experienced racism 45% said it had come from other players and 10% from coaches, with 26% from fans. When asked to pinpoint what they thought was the intent behind such incidents, 62% said they thought it was “banter”.

The PCA said it had not sought to closely define “banter”, saying it was widely understood within the game. Education workshops for all domestic male and female teams as well as the England men’s and women’s squads are to be introduced from March.

The research was done in conjunction with the England and Wales Cricket Board and the governing body’s managing director of county cricket, Neil Snowball, said: “There is no place for racism or discrimination of any kind in cricket. We have a simple goal of making cricket a game for everyone and we’re grateful to those people who’ve been brave enough to tell of their experiences.

“This education programme adds to the action we have already set out, including a new game-wide Code to stamp out any discriminatory behaviour. We will continue to listen and learn from people’s experiences across our sport to guide our future work to make cricket the truly inclusive and diverse sport we want it to be.”