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Tom Harrison pledges ‘tangible commitments’ to tackling racism in cricket after oval meeting

At the end of a week of almost unprecedented turmoil in cricket, ECB Managing Director Tom Harrison has pledged to stay in his post and pledged “tangible commitments” – in the form of a plan in place. 12 points to be announced next Wednesday – to make cricket more inclusive after meeting at the Kia Oval.

Azeem Rafiq’s revelations about the racism he suffered in Yorkshire rocked the game, especially as he was able to lay them bare in excruciating detail under parliamentary privilege before MPs in Westminster on Tuesday .

On Friday, the ECB held an “all in play” meeting at the Kia Oval, attended by MCC, PCA and counties – national and first class.

ECB Managing Director Harrison appeared outside the oval. He said he was confident he retained the support of the game to continue his work and fight racism, after reading a lukewarm statement gathered at the meeting.

“I am determined to lead this change through cricket. I feel passionate about this question. It’s something that I feel deep inside me. I have tried to lead an inclusive and diverse sport since I took over as GM in 2015. I feel very motivated and very supported to make the change happen in the game.

“I got the support of the game today, absolutely”

The statement said the game was “united” in the fight against discrimination. He said “tangible commitments” had been discussed, with details to be “finalized” in the coming days.

“Azeem Rafiq shed light on our game which shocked, shamed and saddened us all,” the statement read.

“Racism and discrimination are a scourge on our sport. To Azeem and to all those who have experienced any form of discrimination, we are very sorry. Our sport did not welcome you, our game did not accept you as we should have. We wholeheartedly apologize for your suffering.

“We stand in solidarity against discrimination in all its forms and as a sport to act. We will continue to listen and make rapid, positive changes to the culture of the game. We will embrace and celebrate differences everywhere, knowing that with diversity we are stronger.


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