The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have today announced a formal partnership with Nujum Sports, in order to develop and guide Muslim inclusion in cricket, through training, education and practical guidance.
Nujum Sports aims to promote a culture of educational excellence for Muslim athletes. It supports sports clubs, local and national organisations, and national sporting bodies through training workshops and educational services.
One of its initiatives was the ground-breaking Muslim Athletes Charter launched in 2021, through which it has delivered improvements to training, education and practical guidance for Muslim athletes across a range of sports.
Following the testimony of Azeem Rafiq and others from across cricket regarding racial harassment and bullying, the whole game 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 sport.
Nujum Sports has spent the last year advising the ECB, to providing guidance and direction on the specific support that is required for Muslim cricketers throughout the year.
Their new partnership will provide a direct focus on the needs of Muslim players and communities, from the grassroots game through to elite cricket, alongside wider staff, player and club education programmes.
Commenting on the partnership, Founder and CEO of Nujum Sports, Ebadur Rahman, said:
“Cricket deserves to be loved and played by everyone. Equity, diversity and inclusion aren’t checklists we need to tick off but rather tools to help us in today’s ever-demanding world. Cricket changes the lives of everyone associated with it, we are proud to be working with the ECB in making this game not only loved by our communities but a gateway for our communities to excel. Muslim athletes throughout the country need to see leadership and support, with the ECB we aim to deliver this and more.”
Kate Miller, Chief Diversity and Communications Officer, ECB, added:
“Over the last year, Nujum Sports has assisted the ECB, particularly in preparing for Ramadan, helping us to support many clubs and players with practical advice and guidance.
“Ensuring that cricket is open, inclusive and accessible for people of all Faiths is critical to us. Working with organisations like Nujum will allow us to learn more, connect better and challenge ourselves to continually improve our work in equity, diversity and inclusion.’’
Jameel Rasheed, Director of Communication for Nujum Sports, added:
“Our aim is to make sure Cricket like all sports is open for all. Muslims Athletes, communities and Muslim grassroots cricket need to be recognised and understood. We hope with the help of the ECB’s localised EDI Action Plans, we will be able to remove discrimination and increase the inclusion that our communities need to flourish.”