I haven’t followed cricket for a very long time (probably since England’s 2005 Ashes win) but the quick glimpses I’ve caught over the years have shown me very few Black players wearing England uniforms. And then I saw this statistic on Sky Sports:
Since Mark Butcher played his last Test, against South Africa in December 2004, just four Black players have featured for the England men’s cricket team.
This comes from a Sky Sports documentary called ‘You Guys Are History’ that looks at the dropping numbers of Black cricketers in England.
Daily Mirror journalist Dean Wilson, who worked with Mark Butcher on You Guys Are History, feels a “carelessness” from administrators has played a part in the decrease of Black British cricketers.
Wilson said: “There are myriad reasons. It is not a simple story. Clearly the reduction of cricket in schools and urban areas plays a big part as that is where the black population is at its greatest.
“The love and passion the Caribbean community had for the game when they first came to the UK, it was just taken for granted that it would always be there.
“Actually, if you don’t do anything to support it and feed it, you end up where we are today. I think it is a problem that has arisen by a lack of action. A carelessness, actually.”