Mark Ramprakash thinks there are many BAME coaching candidates who deserve a chance

Mark Ramprakash: “I would love to see more opportunities given to people from the BAME communities”

Last Updated: 14/06/20 5:10pm

Former England player and coach Mark Ramprakash thinks “it is legitimate” to ask why there are not more BAME coaches working in the county game.

The worldwide Black Lives Matter protests sparked by the death of George Floyd while in police custody in the USA, have led to questions being asked about BAME representation in sporting positions of power.

Ramprakash, who played 52 Tests for England and subsequently had a spell as batting coach, says cricket cannot turn a blind eye to the issue.

Former England batsman Vikram Solanki has been named as Surrey's next head coach

Former England batsman Vikram Solanki has been named as Surrey’s next head coach

“I was lucky enough to have a 25-year playing career and now I have been coaching for seven years,” he said.

“I think in all that time, I can only think of two non-white county coaches in (current West Indies coach) Phil Simmons and Dav Whatmore – I might have left someone out but that’s an awfully long time.

“So I think it is legitimate to ask why is that the case and I would love to see more opportunities given to people from the BAME communities.

“When you think about cricket, you think about England, Australia, South Africa but you also think about India, West Indies, Pakistan, Sri Lanka.

“There’s an awful lot of players playing at the highest level, why aren’t we seeing more coaches, head coaches, directors of cricket? It’s not because the talent is not there.

“I wouldn’t advocate someone get that position based purely on their race or the colour of their skin.

“But I think there are many candidates out there who would be dedicated and who would have a hard-work ethic and a good knowledge of the game and therefore deserve an opportunity.”

Ramprakash pointed out that the root of the problem may lie in the fact that cricket, in common with many other sports, suffers from a lack of BAME people in administrative roles at the upper echelon of the sport.

He said: “Within cricket, football, athletics you can think of so many great players (from the BAME community) but so few in positions of authority.

“You would have to say that would affect the opportunities of further BAME community people coming through.”

Ramprakash’s former county Surrey this week named Vikram Solanki – a former England international who was born in India – as their head coach.

Ramprakash welcomed the hiring, saying: “I think very highly of Vikram as do many, many people.

“He finished his playing career at Surrey and has been part of the coaching staff for a number of years.

“He is very much liked and popular with the players. I think it was right Surrey promoted from within.”

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