The England and Wales Cricket Board today approved investment in the England women’s team following their Ashes triumph down under and also, they agreed to invest in inner city facilities too.
This means that the England women’s team will get a pay rise and bonus as well which they thoroughly deserve because of the way they have performed over the years.
ECB chairman Giles Clarke said: “The success of the England women's team was a real bright spot during an otherwise disappointing winter. Over successive years the women's team have produced not only excellent results but have also been outstanding role models for a generation of girls and women who have been inspired to take up the game.
“These pay rises are significant and as a result, we are proudly creating the first group of full time women's professional cricketers. We hope that they will become some of the best paid sportswomen in Britain - certainly the best in British women's team sports.”
According to ECB’s Eureka study, there are 908,000 people aged over 14 engaged in cricket in England who often find it difficult to find grass pitches. Therefore, the ECB has thought of rescuing and preparing more grounds in inner cities which starts from London.
Clarke added: “ECB stands to benefit from the new financial arrangements at the ICC and the Board shared my passion for reviving cricket in inner cities in the next 10 years.
“Where there are no facilities we will work with local authorities and the outstanding Chance to Shine project to build grounds. That is the way that we can build proper inner city cricket clubs which will attract thousands of new players to the game.”
The Eureka survey also reveals that a total of 1.7 million people played Cricket last year and a staggering 792,000 played Cricket informally. A further analysis of these numbers showed:
• 266,000 were 'Core' players who play at least twelve weeks of a 26 week summer season.
• 436,000 were 'Occasional' players who play between three and eleven weeks of a 26 week summer season.
• 206,000 were 'Cameo' players who play one or two weeks of a 26 week summer season.
• The peak participation period was mid-June when 375,000 people played in teams in a single week.
ECB chief David Collier too had something to say: “The Board welcomed and supported a range of new investment in women's cricket, inner city cricket and the England Men's team.
"With 30% of cricketers in England and Wales being of Asian origin, this demonstrates that cricket reaches across and unites the various cultures in the UK. The demand for this summer's Investec Test matches, Royal London One-Day Series and NatWest International Twenty20s against Sri Lanka and India reflects this diversity.
“The exciting plans for the NatWest T20 Blast have also engaged all our First Class County Clubs while the early rounds of the LV= County Championship provides a shop window for all County cricketers to stake their claim for England selection making this one of the most interesting and important starts to the season for many years. Add to that a new commercial partner in Royal London for 50 Over cricket both domestically and internationally and there is much to look forward to.”
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