The ECB has today released its 2021/2022 Annual Report and Financial Statements. Last year saw a record number participating in cricket, with a new high of 14m playing, attending or following cricket, an increase of 3m since 2019.
There was also important progress in delivering both the Inspiring Generations strategy and the game’s action plan to tackle discrimination and drive equity and inclusivity at every level.
Launched in 2019, the ECB’s five-year strategy, Inspiring Generations, aims to inspire a new generation and is being delivered through six priorities. Whilst more work continues to deliver the strategy, the Annual Report shows some of the impact that the investment is having, through the stories of clubs, players, coaches, fans and volunteers across England and Wales.
This year’s Financial Statements show the financial challenges of Covid were less severe than in 2020, with turnover of £303m (up £96m from 2021) and profit before tax of £21.5m, enabling important investment to continue across the game.
£16.6m was distributed in revenue grants across the recreational cricket network last year, and more than £10m was invested into capital projects across the professional and recreational clubs.
The past year has seen:
• A new high of 14m people who played, attended or followed cricket, an increase of 3m since 2019
• 1.4m children who played cricket, with girls’ share the highest ever seen (34%)
• 105,000 kids taking part in All Stars and Dynamos
• 20,000 more recreational fixtures in 2021 vs 2019
• County Championship live streams up 65% year on year
• Vitality Blast having its 2nd best average viewing on record
• The launch of The Hundred with over 510,000 tickets sold and issued and 267,000 attending the women’s fixtures – a record for a women’s competition globally
• 3,000 bursaries provided for Foundation coaches from underrepresented groups
• The launch of the Disability Premier League with 4 new teams – the first-of-its-kind elite pan-disability competition
• A 33% increase in the total number of women’s and girl’s teams across the country from 2019
• 1,600 South Asian female volunteers recruited through the Dream Big Desi Women programme, with a target of 2,000 by the end of 2022
• 160 urban hubs established to offer cricket playing opportunities
In recent months, the whole cricket network has been focused on delivering a wide-ranging action plan agreed in November 2021 to tackle racism and promote inclusion and diversity at all levels of the game.
To underpin the actions taken across the cricket network, the ECB has committed to providing additional resources in support of consistent progress across the game, including £25 million of strategic funding over five years in support of equity, diversity and inclusion actions.
Tom Harrison, Chief Executive Officer, ECB, said: “When we launched Inspiring Generations two and a half years ago, our ambition was to make cricket a game for everyone. It is an ambitious plan to make our game mean more to more people, and the whole game is working in partnership to deliver it.
“With a record 14m playing, attending or following our game, it shows the investment we have been able to make in cricket is working. It is also testament to the hard work of so many people in getting through the Pandemic that we have been able to bounce back so strongly as a sport.
“The last 12 months have underlined the importance of what we are trying to achieve, and also demonstrated how much further we need to go to deliver change more quickly. Meaningful and systemic change takes time, but we are already making progress on that difficult journey. This report shines a light on some of the work that is already making a difference.”
Martin Darlow, Interim Chair, ECB, said: “As this report demonstrates, we are making tangible progress in delivering Inspiring Generations, with record levels of participation in 2021 alongside the launch of The Hundred, which brought so many new fans to cricket and gave such a vital, prominent platform to the women’s game.
“At the core of Inspiring Generations is the desire to make cricket a game for everyone. We are united and determined in this mission. We will continue listening, and learning, and working together to ensure everyone feels welcome and make cricket the inclusive sport we all know it can be.”
For further information and to read the 2021/2022 Annual Report, please click here.