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ECB introduces bursaries to attract coaches from BAME backgrounds

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Funds will also be used to encourage more female coaches and coaches with a disability

The ECB are introducing bursaries to enable under-represented demographic groups to gain coaching qualifications.

The bursaries, which are understood to be worth around £94,000 a year in total, are aimed specifically at encouraging more coaches from a Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) background into the game. They will also be used to encourage more female coaches and coaches with a disability.

The idea for the scheme came from John Neal, the ECB’s head of coach development, after he realised how poorly such groups were represented.

Neal joined the ECB in 2017 at a time when very little data existed to reveal such disparity. Having conducted research, he found that fewer than six percent of qualified coaches were female or from a BAME background. At the highest level of qualifications, that fell to around four percent.

His aim now is to ensure the percentage of coaches from each demographic reflects the percentage of registered players in the same demographic. That would mean around 20 percent of coaches should be female and around 30 percent should have Asian heritage.

To that end, around £45,000 a year will be made available to help those wanting to take the Foundation level course – which usually costs around £150 a time and is, broadly, what used to be known as Level 1 and 2 – with around £15,000 committed to the Advanced course (broadly translating to the old Level 3 qualification) – which cost around £1,500 each. A further £21,000 has been allocated for the Specialist course (which roughly translates to the old Level 4) with funding ranging from full grants, help with travel or gaining access to online elements of the courses.

At the same time, the National Asian Cricket Council has been given £13,000 to allocate towards the scheme as they see fit, while the counties – who already have their own budgets for such things – will be encouraged to ensure they have more equitable representation on the courses.

The idea for the bursaries is understood to have pre-dated the growth of interest in the Black Lives Matter movement and a greater understanding of the under-representation of people from BAME backgrounds in the sport. While some funding had already been diverted to ensure greater opportunities, the pandemic has understandably delayed such plans and resulted in cuts across most departments at the ECB.

The first bursaries are already in place. Around 26 percent of candidates on the most recent course are from BAME backgrounds.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo



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Recent Match Report – South Aust vs West Aust 14th Match 2020/21

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Daniel Worrall and David Grant took four-wickets each but South Australia came up agonisingly short

South Australia 8 for 510 dec (Head 223, Hunt 109) and 9 for 230 dec (Carey 82*, Nielsen 67) drew with Western Australia 5 for 409 dec (Green 168*, Bancroft 126) and 9 for 148 (Worrall 4-30, Grant 4-38)

Western Australia’s No. 11 Liam O’Connor, who has yet to score a first-class run, survived the final over of a pulsating final day to secure a draw against South Australia.

O’Connor came to the crease with 23 balls of the match remaining after Daniel Worrall had struck in consecutive overs to remove Hilton Cartwright, who had battled a back injury to make 25 off 122, when he jabbed to short leg, and then had Liam Guthrie caught behind.

Cameron Gannon, who had formed a 16-over stand with Cartwright when South Australia were pushing for victory in the final session, tried to farm the strike but struck the last ball of the penultimate over too well and collected a boundary.

However, O’Connor was able to negotiate six balls from Chadd Sayers although there was added agony for South Australia when the last delivery of the match lobbed in the air into the off side but didn’t reach any of the close catchers swarming the batsmen.

South Australia’s pace attack, led by the four-wicket hauls for Worrall and David Grant, put in a huge effort to try and secure the Redbacks’ first victory of the season after they had declared shortly before lunch to leave a target of 332 in 75 overs.

Western Australia were never in a position to threaten the chase and the visitors sensed their chance when Grant, playing his first Sheffield Shield match in more than three years, had Cameron Bancroft caught at point and trapped Cameron Green lbw two balls later. Six overs later he added Josh Inglis and when Aaron Hardie edged Sayers, Western Australia were 5 for 88 with 45 overs still remaining.

Cartwright, batting at No. 7 after being off the field on the third day with a back problem, accompanied Shaun Marsh for 14 overs but Grant then made his next big impact when he found the edge of Marsh’s bat, meaning the bowlers were exposed.

Matt Kelly played a poor stroke, splicing a pull off Worrall, to leave them seven down with 22 overs remaining before Cartwright and Gannon brought safety within sight deep into the final hour, but there was more drama to come.

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo



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Recent Match Report – Ireland A vs BDESH Emerg Only unofficial Test 2020/21

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Yasir Ali led the way with the bat, scoring 92 in the Bangladesh Emerging Team’s only innings

Bangladesh Emerging Team 313 (Yasir Ali 92, Saif Hassan 49, Adair 3-22, Hume 3-56) beat Ireland Wolves 151 (Campher 39, Tanvir Islam 5-55) and 139 (Tector 55, Tanvir Islam 8-51) by an innings and 23 runs

Tanvir Islam‘s career-best match haul of 13 for 106 cleaned up the Ireland Wolves as the Bangladesh Emerging Team won by an innings and 23 runs, finishing the only four-day game of the tour on the third day. Islam, a 25-year-old left-arm spinner who had taken 19 wickets in his 11 previous first-class games, finished with figures of 8 for 51 from 28.3 overs in the Wolves’ second innings at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram.

The visitors were bowled out for 139, having made 151 in their first innings, as they went through yet another struggle against spin. In the first innings, Islam took 5 for 55 while captain Saif Hassan, who bowls part-time offspin, took two wickets. In the second innings, it was Islam again with the wickets while Ebadot Hossain and Hassan took one each.

In between the Wolves’ two innings, the home side were bowled out for 313 with Yasir Ali top-scoring with 92. He struck eight fours and five sixes in his 115-ball knock. Bangladesh’s top three – Saif, Tanzid Hasan and Mahmudul Hasan Joy – all got out in the forties.

Mark Adair and Graham Hume took three wickets each while Jonathan Garth took two wickets. Among the Wolves batsmen, only captain Harry Tector struck a fifty for the visitors, having got out for a duck in the first innings. Curtis Campher top-scored with 39 in the first dig.

The two sides next take on each other in five one-day games and two T20s in Chattogram and Dhaka.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84



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ICC rankings – Rohit Sharma attains career-best Test rankings R Ashwin moves to No. 3 among bowlers

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Axar Patel, who picked up 11 wickets in the third Test against England, also gained 30 slots to reach the 38th position

Rohit Sharma has climbed six places to a career-best eighth position in the ICC men’s Test batsmen’s rankings, while R Ashwin has progressed four places to third position on the bowlers’ rankings on the back of their performances in the third Test against England in Ahmedabad that India won by ten wickets.

Left-arm Axar Patel, who was named Player of the Match for his 11-wicket match haul in what was only his second Test, gained 30 slots to reach the 38th position.

Rohit, who top-scored in the first innings with 66 and carried India over the line with an unbeaten 25 in the second, moved ahead of Cheteshwar Pujara in the rankings. According to an ICC release, Rohit’s rating points aggregate is 742, “20 more than his best of 722 in October 2019 when he was ranked 10th.”

Rohit, Patel, and Ashwin, who took seven wickets across the two innings and reached the 400 Test-wickets milestone, were the chief architects of India’s resounding win in a low-scoring contest on a tricky Ahmedabad pitch which helped keep them in contention for the final of the inaugural World Test Championship.



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