In England’s green and pleasant land

Posted: Thu, 06 Jul 2023 09:25

In England’s green and pleasant land

Through the cloud of orange powder, I didn't have a chance to check the privilege of the gurning protester hauled off the Lord's pitch by Jonny Bairstow to see whether he is Type K. Turns out Daniel Knorr is an Oxbridge student, so it is a possibility. No idea though whether he ticks all the elitist boxes in the report of the Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket, published the day before the Test. Or whether he even likes the game; is perhaps a useful left arm trundler or middle order nurdler.

The ECB's new-ish chair, Richard Thompson, looked pretty hollowed out to me as he responded to the ICEC's report on its day of release. Hopefully it was just the studio lighting. He does though face a trio of headaches stretching over various horizons - enough to make anyone reach for the light switch and long for a lie down in a darkened room.

Short leg: the Ashes hopes of England's men and women hang by slender threads in much-hyped series on home soil

Mid wicket: the previous leadership of the ECB has bequeathed him a long TV commitment to The Hundred - the competition that Thompson derided when chair at Surrey CCC but now seems commercially compelled to defend

Long off: the implementation of all or most of the ICEC's recommendations, which will likely hollow out the ECB's energy and, crucially, its finances

I've no personal stake in the current fight over cricket's reputation, having knocked on the door of the establishment looking for a role a few times but to no avail - as Sport inc. readers may remember. I simply buy tickets to watch the game and have been giving some informal commercial advice to one of the first class counties.

And as I mentioned last week, I'm not Type K, so can't be personally affronted by the societal stereotypes drawn by the ICEC. I feel decently placed then to observe that by claiming cricket is institutionally elitist - racist, sexist and classist - the ICEC is impugning innumerable people within the game. That, plus the hectoring tone of much of its 300-plus page report (which brooks no dissent), and its kitchen sink of recommendations, may prove counterproductive - emboldening defences rather than collaboratively dismantling them.

The ICEC creates five social 'types' in constructing a report that the ECB itself commissioned in response to the racism furore engulfing Yorkshire CCC.

Type K: White men, educated in private schools, who are straight and cisgender, and do not report a disability

Type L: men from non-White ethnic minority groups

Type M: women from non-White ethnic minority groups

Type N: White men

Type O: White women

Just five? Such broad, homogenous groupings? Are these generalisations a valid means of analysing a complex problem?

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In England's green and pleasant land - by Ed Warner (

Tags: Ed Warner, Policy, Sport, cricket


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