Cricket Ireland has published a wide-ranging report into their plan to make the game more inclusive for all participants in the country.
The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Recommendations Report was commissioned by the governing body as they looked to get ahead of the game in ensuring the sport was at the forefront of being the most welcoming and inclusive on the island.
The report has been 18 months in the making, but Cricket Ireland Chairman Brian MacNeice is pleased with the fact they left no stone unturned in their quest to get as wide-ranging views as possible.
“We deliberately took our time with the report as we wanted to get it right and ensure we reached as broad a spectrum as possible,” MacNeice told CricketEurope.
“When we saw the initial responses coming through, some of the minority groups weren’t fully represented and we wanted a true and full picture.
“We commissioned the Irish Centre for Diversity (ICFD) to conduct a review of staff, volunteer and club member experiences and perceptions of EDI matters day-to-day, both at work and in clubs across the country.”
The report was broadly positive in all aspects of cricket’s unique place in Irish sport, given the diverse make-up of participants. However, there were key areas identified where major work is needed, and MacNeice recognises this.
“We are mindful of the key areas highlighted where we can do better and have started to implement changes already. Senior staff began EDI training earlier this summer and that training will be rolled out to all staff over the coming months.”
There’s no doubt that Cricket Ireland has been proactive in ensuring greater gender equality at Board level, and with the contracts being offered to the Women’s team in recent times.
However, the composition of interprovincial and senior Ireland sides is a concern with their lack of diversity and that is a challenge for the sport as they strive to be more representative of their playing numbers.
“An impactful EDI Strategy and Action plan will be launched early in 2024, where we will aim to prioritise the gaps and challenges identified by the report,” continued MacNeice.
“We are confident that we are moving in the right direction to build greater inclusion, diversity and equality in Irish cricket, but change takes time. We are committed to ensuring Irish cricket is a sport that truly belongs to all.”