The Oxfordshire Cricket Board has selected a CEO of a law firm to lead its work on diversity and inclusion during a difficult time for the national game.
Insurance Risk and Trading Company BLM announced this month that Siri Siriwardene, Head of Business Advisory and Private Wealth, has been appointed to the Board Advisory Board and will lead strategy and compliance for equality, diversity and inclusion. BLM said Siriwardene will lead the work in accordance with guidelines established by the England and Wales Cricket Council (ECB).
Last month, the ECB announced a ‘far-reaching action plan’ to tackle racism and promote inclusion and diversity at all levels of the game following the much-publicized evidence session of the former professional cricketer Azeem Rafiq with the House of Commons digital, culture, media and sport select committee.
Explaining how her OCB role came about, Siriwardene told the Gazette he is “an integral part of the cricket community” – he plays and coaches for the Abingdon Vale Cricket Club.
Siriwardene, who is BLM’s multicultural network sponsor, said the OCB has been looking for someone to help with their EDI work for some time. Following a discussion with the Chairman of the Board, Siriwardene felt the time was right and he could build on the diversity and inclusion work of his law firm. “What I’m going to help is based on our extensive experience in setting up programs at BLM, ensuring that policies and processes are strong. [and] raising awareness through training and helping with outreach projects to help them make an impact. ‘
Siriwardene is in the process of setting up a working group that will “power up” what emerges from a comprehensive review it has launched. It will examine how the governance framework can be strengthened and set up a training program for affiliate clubs and members. He wants to ensure that awareness programs are “relevant and meaningful”. He has already contacted various club officials to find out their perspective and recalls an “incredible conversation” he had with a woman who founded an Islamic cricket team.
OCB Chairman Chris Clements said: “I was extremely happy when Siri offered his services to Oxfordshire cricket. He comes highly recommended by his club and other key influencers in the Oxfordshire community. Oxfordshire cricket. His background makes him a perfect match for the current gap on the board. I expect his appointment will place Oxfordshire in a very strong position to face the current challenges facing football. national is facing.