Cricket governing body looks to improve Muslim inclusion
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has partnered with Nujum Sports to improve Muslim inclusion within the game — an initiative that has been backed by England legend Moeen Ali.
Following the testimony of Azeem Rafiq and others from across cricket, the sport's governing body has looked at ways to tackle racism and promote inclusion and diversity at all levels of the game.
Nujum Sports supports Muslim athletes by providing training workshops and educational services to sports clubs, local and national organisations, and national sporting bodies.
And it has spent the last year advising the ECB on what specific support Muslim cricketers want throughout the year.
The partnership will help the ECB 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.
Diversity and inclusion
"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," said founder and CEO of Nujum Sports, Ebadur Rahman.
"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.”
England legend and Nujum Sports Ambassador Moeen Ali talked about the important role Islam has played in his career and said the initiative will help Muslim athletes to express themselves fully.
“Throughout my time in this beautiful sport I have witnessed the highs and lows, without my faith it would have been a great struggle," said Ali.
"It's time we recognise the value of allowing Muslim cricketers to be who they are and allow them to come together in this family with a feeling of trust and confidence," he added.
Muslim Athlete Charter
Nujum launched the Muslim Athlete Charter last year — a set of principles that encourages sports organisations to make things easier for their Muslim athletes.
Developed with scholars, it includes things like allowing Muslim players a place to pray, offering halal meals, and letting fast during Ramadan without judgement or hindrance.
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.’’