For the 2020 Bob Willis Trophy campaign, Yorkshire’s players will be wearing a new logo on their shirt sleeves to promote Yorkshire Cricket Supports Diversity.
In 2019, under the guidance of Board member Hanif Malik, an Equality and Diversity Committee was formed to review the hard work undertaken by Yorkshire’s existing networks but adopt a more progressive approach to continue striving for equality in cricket.
Widening the appeal of cricket and making it more accessible has been a key driver for Yorkshire Cricket in recent years. The regeneration of Bradford Park Avenue (BPA) and the creation of the BPA Management Team, a scheme to upskill youngsters from deprived areas to transfer these skills back into their community is one programme that embodies Yorkshire Cricket Supports Diversity.
The continuation of BAME Development Centres throughout the county (which also includes ECB national programmes), the transformation of women and girls’ cricket, and flourishing disability cricket programmes have been huge notable successes, however, Yorkshire Cricket is committed to doing much more.
Hanif Malik, Chair of Yorkshire Cricket’s Equality and Diversity Committee said: “Over 12 months ago, the Board felt that it was imperative that the values of Yorkshire Cricket reflects the diversity that we have across our county.
“Yorkshire Cricket Supports Diversity is a strategy that is looking to ensure that we are being fully inclusive across the board. The work needs to reflect inclusion and diversity in its widest form. It is tasked with making cricket accessible across all facets of Yorkshire Cricket, including participation and growth through to talent, spectators, officiating, coaching and volunteering.
“We want to be a club that is reflective of Yorkshire at its best, a thriving, diverse and multicultural area with opportunities for all. There is a perception that unless you are good enough to play for Yorkshire, Yorkshire doesn’t resonate with you. We want Yorkshire Cricket to resonate with everyone out there.
“The Black Lives Matters movement reiterates how we need to ensure that equality is at the heart of everything that Yorkshire Cricket strives to achieve.”
Mark Arthur, The Yorkshire County Cricket Club Chief Executive said: “Over the last five years, Yorkshire Cricket has undertaken a successful south Asian engagement programme, initially concentrating on the communities in Bradford, Leeds and Kirklees.
“Yorkshire Cricket has also encouraged more girls and women to participate in the game of cricket which has culminated in us being awarded a regional league for professional women’s cricket.
“We recognise that there is more work to be done in all of the above areas and in-particular, we need to focus going forward on the black community which doesn’t have the following in cricket which it may have had some thirty years ago.
“The objective of Yorkshire Cricket Supports Diversity is to do more in these areas to form sustainable programmes to benefit the game of cricket for years to come.”