In a groundbreaking initiative, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has unveiled the Cricket Regulator, an independent body aimed at ensuring compliance and enforcing regulations in cricket. This move comes in response to a scathing report by the Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket (ICEC), titled “Holding Up a Mirror to Cricket,” which highlighted disparities related to race, gender, and class.
The 317-page ICEC report, released in June, criticized the ECB for its conflicting roles as both the promoter and regulator of the game, citing conflicts of interest. It particularly emphasized the board’s shortcomings in handling the racism crisis triggered by Azeem Rafiq’s revelations about his experiences in Yorkshire.
Responding to the ICEC’s recommendations, the ECB, in September, committed to establishing an independent body to investigate regulatory breaches and make decisions about potential charges. The newly introduced Cricket Regulator will operate under the oversight of an independent Cricket Regulatory Board, ensuring autonomy from the ECB.
Key responsibilities of the Cricket Regulator include investigating reported cases and determining whether there is sufficient evidence to bring them before the Cricket Discipline Panel. Notably, the regulator’s authority now extends to safeguarding, integrity (covering anti-corruption, misconduct, and anti-doping), and anti-discrimination, areas previously under the ECB’s purview.
Dave Lewis, a former police chief with over 30 years of law enforcement experience, has been appointed interim director of the Cricket Regulator. His role involves establishing the body before a permanent successor takes over in 2024. Lewis emphasized the importance of maintaining high standards, particularly in matters such as anti-discrimination.
“The Cricket Regulator will cover a wide range of matters on which the game has set clear standards, including anti-discrimination. The team and I are clear about the importance of meeting high standards in ensuring people across the game know what is expected of them and having the best procedures in place to protect and promote the good of the game,” said Lewis.
ECB chief executive Richard Gould expressed support for the establishment of the Cricket Regulator, emphasizing its independence from the ECB.
“It is important that the game has the best processes in place to enforce regulations. The Cricket Regulator, overseen by an independent Cricket Regulatory Board, will do that. The separation will ensure that their work is distinct from our work as the game’s promoter,” Gould said.
This move is a significant step toward addressing systemic issues and fostering a more inclusive and equitable environment within cricket. The Cricketing community eagerly awaits the impact and effectiveness of this new regulatory framework.