The last week or so has profiled the high and lows cricket in all its glory. From the wonderful tension of the Lord’s Test there remains the spectre of Independent Commission for Cricket Report that now hangs over the game of cricket in England and Wales. The fact that the ECB accepts the Commission’s report in its entirety signals that the game must (and will) undertake change.
Most of the report and the 44 recommendations are targeted at the regulation process within the game and the interaction/failings of the ECB and, in turn, the regional/county system. No doubt there will be a range of initiatives and requirements that will, ultimately, feed down to recreational cricket.
The ECB has undertaken to submit a detailed response within three months. We anticipate that response will then filter through to the Kent Cricket League management and affiliated clubs shortly after. We await these updates.
Many clubs in the area, including ours, have in recent years been very open and welcoming to all juniors, junior parents and senior players from any ethnicity or class background. For DCC we have a Club Code of Conduct policy which everyone joining the Club must abide by.
Over the last ten years we have welcomed so many new members from the local Asian community and are delighted to have such a strong and well integrated friendly club which is borne out by an ever growing junior section from all backgrounds very happily playing together with great team spirit and sowing the seeds for a prosperous future for the Club. However, as recommendation 11 points out, whilst there has been success under the South Asian Action Plan, there has been a significant decline in participation in cricket from the Black community. That decline is something that cannot be reversed quickly.
However there are likely to be clear areas of opportunity arising from the Commission’s findings for sizeable recreational clubs like Dartford to pursue. Specifically interaction with state schools and the development of a female section are clear win/wins. Members will be aware that the Club has previously tried, but sadly failed, to progress both of these through various avenues in recent years.
A female section clearly has to become part of our future offering. We shall therefore be placing significant energy to correct this in the coming months as we aim to compliment the strong development of our cricket offering to the male section (juniors and seniors) that is well underway.
In the meantime we encourage members to:
(a) remain positive about the future,
(b) acknowledge that the Commission’s findings will fundamentally change the dynamics of cricket in England and Wales for the greater good, and
(c) reflect that the Club is on a journey towards our aims of being inclusive for all.
A small selection of recent photos during this 2023 season is attached to reflect the progression and diversity emerging within the Club. The spirit that has been fostered by so many of you is precious and long may that continue in harmony.
Harry Bright, Chairman
Surge Birring, Junior Chair and EDI Lead.