Dubai: Talking about the diversity of the game, challenges players face and what the cricket family can do to commit fully to anti-racism, two-time ICC Men’s T20 World Cup winning captain of the West Indies team Sammy told former West Indies fast bowler and broadcaster Ian Bishop during the latest edition of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) online series Interviews Inside Out on Sunday that there is a need for education at a systematic level.
"Just as there is an emphasis on education around anti-doping or anti-corruption, the same emphasis must be given to educating the youth on anti-racism in order to help young cricketers understand diversity in cricket and adapt early on," said Sammy.
Along with Sammy, former ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup and T20 World Cup winner from England and broadcaster - Isa Guha, former South Africa all-rounder - JP Duminy, two-time ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup winner with Australia and leading coach -Tom Moody, and former Pakistan player and broadcaster - Bazid Khan also participated in the discussion.
Each of the panelists shared their personal experiences on the subject and spoke of solutions that could help create a more inclusive space within the sport. They unanimously agreed on the fact that there is a need for more conversations at multiple levels and more ownership to make a difference in the sport.
Isa Guha said, “We have a real opportunity with cricket because it does cross different races, backgrounds, and religions, and does bring all of these different people together. It is really a sport that unites everyone. I mean, look at the current England (men’s) team, we stumbled upon this team that is so diverse. But the most important thing for me is representation. This team represents the UK, so people from Muslim communities, black communities can look at these guys and say, they’ve managed to do it, so can I. The other thing I am proud of, about this team is their intention to learn a lot about each other’s cultures. That for me undoubtedly has led to their success. It was similar for us, Ebony (Ebony Rainford-Brent) and I in the 2009 ICC World Cup.”
Meanwhile, Tom Moody said, “Leaders in our cricket community whether it is a captain, senior player, a coach or an administrator, we have an enormous responsibility as an educator along may different platforms. One of those platforms I think that has been neglected and not given the attention that is required and that is the understanding of the different levels of racism that exists within the game. If there is anything positive that has come out of this, is that it is highlighting that we need to be a lot more understanding of how we can make this better as individuals. From my personal experiences have always enjoyed the challenges of working in different cultures and environments. To learn from these as against resisting the challenges of those different environments.”
Whilst making his closing remarks Ian Bishop added, “There is no one here who is demanding a free gift, we all work very diligently and very hard and what we want to see is equality across the globe and an equal chance for everyone.”