Search

ECB’s South Asian Action Plan to get more youngsters inspired by game of cricket

PUBLISHED: 11:30 11 May 2018

A group photo during the ECB South Asian Action Plan Launch at Leyton County Ground (pic Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

A group photo during the ECB South Asian Action Plan Launch at Leyton County Ground (pic Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

2018 Getty Images

Essex prospect Feroze Khushi believes the ECB’s new South Asian Action Plan will help propel plenty more British Asian youngsters into professional cricket.

Essex's Dan Feist and Feroze Khushi watch as girls participate in games of cricket and practice sessions during the ECB South Asian Action Plan Launch at Leyton County Ground (pic Christopher Lee/Getty Images)Essex's Dan Feist and Feroze Khushi watch as girls participate in games of cricket and practice sessions during the ECB South Asian Action Plan Launch at Leyton County Ground (pic Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

The 19-year-old batsman, born in east London to parents of Pakistani origin, lists world stars such as Virat Kohli and Shahid Afridi as his idols growing up.

But one of the key aims of the ECB initiative, focusing on South Asian communities in the UK, is for Khushi and other homegrown players to themselves become role models for aspiring youngsters.

Khushi, who earned his first professional contract with Essex last year, was at Thursday’s launch of the project – a girls’ cricket session at Leyton County Ground, close to his home.

The session brought girls from five nearby primary schools – and one from west London – together for a skills and match programme which was run by coaches from the Capital Kids Cricket charity.

Girls pose for the camera with the ICC Cricket World Cup and the ICC Womens Cricket World Cup during the ECB South Asian Action Plan Launch at Leyton County Ground (pic Christopher Lee/Getty Images)Girls pose for the camera with the ICC Cricket World Cup and the ICC Womens Cricket World Cup during the ECB South Asian Action Plan Launch at Leyton County Ground (pic Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

He said: “It’s definitely a work in progress and I’m confident that, in the near future, there will be a lot more Asian players and coaches coming through.

“I used to love watching people like Kohli and Afridi – guys from an Asian background with great technique and I learned a lot from watching them.

“One day I hope I can help inspire young Asian players from different areas in England to come and play cricket. To see so many kids here is fantastic.

“I’m so happy to see that and the strategies being put in place will get more Asian players making it at professional and maybe even international level, which would be great.”

Girls participate in games of cricket and practice sessions during the ECB South Asian Action Plan Launch at Leyton County Ground (pic Christopher Lee/Getty Images)Girls participate in games of cricket and practice sessions during the ECB South Asian Action Plan Launch at Leyton County Ground (pic Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

Khushi’s father Mohammed played club cricket in Essex for around 25 years and is an ECB qualified level three coach – and one of the key recommendations of the action plan is to increase BAME coaching representation.

Other key points include the development of Urban Cricket Centres, increasing cricket programmes in primary schools and an improved scouting system.

The plan is backed by former Essex player Arfan Akram – who oversees cricket at the University of East London and, like Khushi, plays club cricket for Wanstead and Snaresbrook.

Akram said: “For me, the single most exciting part of this is that the British Asian community feel they’ve now got a voice in cricket.

Girls pose for the camera with the ICC Cricket World Cup and the ICC Womens Cricket World Cup during the ECB South Asian Action Plan Launch at Leyton County Ground (pic Christopher Lee/Getty Images)Girls pose for the camera with the ICC Cricket World Cup and the ICC Womens Cricket World Cup during the ECB South Asian Action Plan Launch at Leyton County Ground (pic Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

“There are so many diverse faiths and cultures within the community. But there’s a platform now for people to listen and adapt.

“For example, we run a session for girls at Redbridge Sports Centre. It’s about finding a venue which is accessible and has the requirement of being enclosed with no windows so parents are happy that their girls are in a safe environment. That comes from understanding their culture and beliefs.

“The South Asian community are hugely driven when it comes to education, but sport can stop at a certain age because education – for all the right reasons – takes priority.

“Now we have a beautiful opportunity to showcase a real balance and say cricket complements your education – it can give you transferable skills when it comes to looking for a job, like teamwork.

Girls participate in games of cricket and practice sessions during the ECB South Asian Action Plan Launch at Leyton County Ground (pic Christopher Lee/Getty Images)Girls participate in games of cricket and practice sessions during the ECB South Asian Action Plan Launch at Leyton County Ground (pic Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

“The core points fit into the wider ECB strategy – which is about growing the game and bringing talented athletes into the system.”

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison joined Khushi and Akram in east London, with similar events held at Bradford Park Avenue in Yorkshire and Sparkhill Park in Birmingham.

Full details of the South Asian Action Plan are available at ecb.co.uk/news/683317/ecb-s-south-asian-action-plan-revealed.

Latest East London Sports News

Yesterday, 17:30

English football faces another defining day as the professional game prepares to consider an indefinite suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic, while pressure builds for players to accept wage cuts or deferrals.

Former Hammers star would ike to see more signings like Bowen

Yesterday, 11:30

East London Runners athlete planning a different kind of long-distance run

Yesterday, 10:30

Marathon man is slowly recovering from a new challenge

Yesterday, 10:16

The Victoria Park Community Cricket League has announced a likely suspension of their season for an indefinite period due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Yesterday, 09:54

Following the early end of the 2019/20 rugby season in England due to the coronavirus pandemic, the RFU is announcing final league positions.

Yesterday, 07:56

Football chiefs are set to continue seeking ways to salvage the domestic season as the sporting shutdown is extended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Wed, 18:26

Eoin Morgan can see the advantages in holding England matches behind closed doors, believing such a scenario would demonstrate the uplifting role sport can play in modern society.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Festival organisers AEG Presents will once again be providing a variety of exciting opportunities for young people at this year’s event

Looking to rent in London? Securing the keys to a new home in any big city can be an ordeal but there is a way to avoid the common pitfalls of London rentals - dodgy landlords, dubious décor and downright dicey security.

Cauldron Foods’ comedy night will give vegans the last laugh as Vegan comics dispel vegan myths.

Most read sport

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Most Read

Latest from the East London Advertiser