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Rainford-Brent Wants More Minority Players in England Women's Cricket

Rainford-Brent said women's cricket needs better visibility to extend its outreach.

PTI |June 22, 2020, 1:19 PM IST
Rainford-Brent Wants More Minority Players in England Women's Cricket

Ebony Rainford-Brent, the first black woman to play cricket for England, feels women's cricket lacks diversity compared to football, which has stronger representation from people of colour.

Rainford-Brent, one of only four Black, Asian and minority ethnic women to have played for England, is also Surrey's director of women's cricket and has launched a scholarship programme to increase minority participation.

Surrey initially created 12 scholarships but doubled the number because of the amount of interest. Isa Guha, Sonia Odedra and Sophia Dunkley are the other BAME women to have played for England.

"We have to look at the pipeline - are any players coming through?" the former cricketer told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"When I listen to football with all its problems, I'm still very jealous of the sport because we see representation," said Rainford-Brent.

"I think the mass level of it means it has a lot of issues that get thrashed out in the media. There is no diversity in women's cricket, really."

The death of African-American George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer has triggered global outrage against racism in society.

The England and Wales Cricket Board announced a major investment in 2019 as part of its five-year plan to increase participation of players of colour.

"We passionately believe cricket at all levels is a game for everyone," an ECB spokesperson was quoted as saying by the BBC.

"There is a lot more to do to help and support women from a range of different backgrounds to play and enjoy the game."

Rainford-Brent said women's cricket needs better visibility to extend its outreach.

"We as a sport are disconnected from inner cities - that's not just a black issue, that has socio-economic implications. We, as a sport, have a lot of work to do," she said.

Team Rankings

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1 Australia 3028 116
2 New Zealand 2406 115
3 India 3085 114
4 England 3466 105
5 Sri Lanka 2454 91
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 4820 127
2 India 5819 119
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 South Africa 3345 108
5 Australia 3518 107
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Australia 5285 278
2 England 4564 268
3 India 9319 266
4 Pakistan 5470 260
5 South Africa 4380 258
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