Yorkshire launch diversity message on eve of Bob Willis Trophy kick-off


Yorkshire will wear a logo on their shirt sleeves in support of diversity during their forthcoming Bob Willis Trophy campaign.

A statement from the Headingley outfit said that “widening the appeal of cricket and making it more accessible has been a key driver for Yorkshire Cricket in recent years” and that they were “committed to doing much more”.

Board member Hanif Malik, chair of Yorkshire Cricket’s equality and diversity committee that was formed in 2019, 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 (the words on the logo) 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.”

Yorkshire chief executive Mark Arthur 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 30 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.”