The ECB wants the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan to be mandatory for counties

The ECB wants to make the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan mandatory after Yorkshire failed to comply with the code by appointing Darren Gough as its managing director

  • The ECB will take a more proactive approach to enforcing its diversity guidelines
  • They want the code to be mandatory in their next financial agreement
  • Yorkshire broke the code by appointing Darren Gough

The ECB will push to make its Equality, Diversity and Inclusion code mandatory for counties in its next financial deal with the world-class game covering four seasons from 2025.

sports mail revealed on Friday that Yorkshire failed to comply with the code by appointing Darren Gough as its managing director as the club failed to conduct an open recruitment process, but the ECB cannot issue any sanctions as its EDI Action Plan of 12 points was published in the midst of much fanfare from 12 months ago is not mandatory.

However, the ECB will take a more proactive approach to enforcing its diversity guidelines in future, linking them to its national gaming funding. The governing body currently provides around £4 million a year to each of the 18 counties as part of the County Partnership Agreement, which is due to expire in 2024.

Darren Gough was appointed as the club's managing director of cricket this week, a move that contravened the ECB's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan.

Darren Gough was appointed as the club’s managing director of cricket this week, a move that contravened the ECB’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan.

The ECB has already secured the bulk of its revenue for the next cycle in the form of a £200m-a-year broadcast deal with Sky Sports, and will open negotiations with the counties on its funding deals next year.

Lord’s executives have been frustrated for several years by the apparent reluctance of some counties to embrace their push for more diversity within the game, particularly with regard to recruitment, and are prepared to link funding to EDI targets for the first time. .

Counties could be financially rewarded for assembling diverse playing and executive teams that reflect their local populations in the same way they are for producing England players, for example, while those that fall short of those targets would receive less funding.

By appointing Gough without advertising the position or interviewing other candidates, Yorkshire breached point 11 of the ECB’s EDI Action Plan, which stipulates that counties must carry out “fair recruitment processes” using “anonymous recruitment tools”.

The Action Plan also emphasizes the need for better education and locker room culture, as well as better reporting mechanisms for harassment and racism.