Mehmooda Duke MBE DL
Cricket News

Leicestershire CCC Chairman speaks on diversity in cricket

Change needs to be made at every level of the game

The national governing body for cricket, the ECB, has pledged to ‘urgently address’ the lack of diversity in the English game. 

Chairman of Leicestershire County Cricket Club, which has one of the most diverse County Cricket boards in the country, says the sport is at the start of a journey to be more diverse.

Mehmooda Duke (MBE DL) is also the first ever female Chair in the history of UK County Cricket. She comments.

“I am really pleased to see the issue of diversity in cricket being discussed more openly.

Leicestershire County Cricket Club is at the heart of a diverse city and I’m really proud that we are already at the forefront of this journey to make cricket more accessible to all.

“We currently have representation from the BAME community on our board, with three people taking up roles. Leicestershire’s Academy, comprising of our most talented and gifted young players, currently has six players who are all from a BAME background too.

“Overall, BAME representation within Leicestershire’s Junior Pathway, which includes squads from age groups 12 to 19 as well as the Academy players, has increased year-on-year since 2018, with an overall increase of 10%.

“Five of the six Academy players are from South Asian communities and our hopes for the future are to keep a good pipeline of talent from diverse backgrounds, and see those players make the step into First XI cricket. We have fantastic role models in Jigar Naik and Dips Patel for that.

“Everyone with talent should be able to see a route into the game and this is a big part of our strategy to strengthen our Training Academy. We want to empower young cricket talent to think about the role and the contribution they make as an individual and judged on merit – never gender or race.

“Change doesn’t happen overnight we are always looking for ways to learn, and improve the ways in which the needs of a more diverse audience can be met. Change needs to be made possible at every level to demonstrate a true commitment to diversity.”