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ECB Establishes Independent Cricket Regulator To Enhance Compliance and Fairness
By CricShots - Dec 5, 2023 1:06 pm
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In a significant move towards addressing structural inequalities within the sport of cricket, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has introduced the Cricket Regulator, an independent body tasked with overseeing compliance and enforcing regulations. This development follows the release of a critical report by the Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket (ICEC) titled “Holding Up a Mirror to Cricket,” which highlighted disparities across race, gender, and class within the sport.

ECB
England Cricket Board (ECB)

The ICEC’s 317-page report, released in June, criticized the ECB for its dual roles as both promoter and regulator of the game, citing “irreconcilable” conflicts of interest. The report particularly emphasized the ECB’s shortcomings in handling the racism crisis triggered by Azeem Rafiq’s revelations about his experiences in Yorkshire.

In September, responding to the ICEC’s recommendations, the ECB confirmed its decision to establish an independent body to investigate regulatory breaches and make decisions about potential charges. The Cricket Regulator, unveiled on Monday, will operate under the oversight of an independent Cricket Regulatory Board, ensuring its independence from the ECB.

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The regulator’s key responsibilities include investigating reported cases and determining whether there is sufficient evidence to bring them before the Cricket Discipline Panel. The scope of the regulator’s authority now encompasses safeguarding, integrity (covering anti-corruption, misconduct, and anti-doping), and anti-discrimination, areas previously under the ECB’s purview.

Dave Lewis, a former police chief with over 30 years of law enforcement experience, has been appointed interim director of the Cricket Regulator. His role involves establishing the body before a permanent successor takes over in 2024.

Lewis emphasized the importance of maintaining high standards in matters such as anti-discrimination, stating, “The Cricket Regulator will cover a wide range of matters on which the game has set clear standards, including anti-discrimination. The team and I are clear about the importance of meeting high standards in ensuring people across the game know what is expected of them, and having the best procedures in place, to protect and promote the good of the game, and everyone involved,” as quoted by ESPN Cricinfo.

 

ECB chief executive Richard Gould expressed support for the Cricket Regulator’s establishment, highlighting its independence from the ECB. “It is important that the game has the best processes in place in order to enforce regulations. The ICEC report recommended that we introduce further independence to the game’s regulatory process and the Cricket Regulator overseen by an independent Cricket Regulatory Board will do that,” Gould said.

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“The Cricket Regulator is ring-fenced from the ECB, and that separation will ensure that their work is distinct from our work as the game’s promoter,” Gould added.

The establishment of the Cricket Regulator represents a significant step towards addressing the deep-rooted inequalities within English cricket. With its independent oversight and focus on safeguarding, integrity, and anti-discrimination, the regulator has the potential to foster a more equitable and inclusive cricketing environment.