ECB cuts grassroots and county funding
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England and Wales cricket Board (ECB) funding for grassroots cricket and First Class Counties has been slashed in favour of increasing financial backing for the England Teams.

According to the governing body’s annual report, the ECB’s funding for local cricket participation decreased from £24.2m (US$34.9m, €30.6m) in 2014/15 to £21m (US$30.3m, €26.6m) in 2015/16, while grants for County Championship clubs were reduced from £63.8m (US$92.1m, €80.7m) in 2014/15 to £48.4m (US$69.8m, €61.3m) over the following 12 months.

While the organisation saw its overall revenue shrink from £174.7m (US$252.1m, €221.1m) in 2014/15 to £134m (US$193.4m, €169.6m) in the subsequent year, it still managed to increase its investment in the England teams by £3.1m (US$4.5m, €3.9m) to £30.6m (US$44.2m, €38.7m) in 2015/16.

Aside from the financial aspect of the report, the document revealed its strategy for increasing grassroots numbers among young people, which is being led by head of participation and growth Matt Dwyer.

Under Dwyer’s stewardship the ECB is launching a “national entry-level programme, delivered in schools, clubs and community with a greater connection to the professional game”, which involved teaching kids the game with “bats and balls of various sizes, ropes and hoola hoops”.

The kit will be supported by a range of videos which teach children how to “develop skills in a fun way”, and the parents of the children will be asked to mark their child’s experience following the programme.

Elsewhere in the report, the ECB revealed some encouraging general grassroots figures with 2,276 clubs signing up to the organisation’s NatWest CricketForce initiative, which brings in volunteers to improve facilities. In addition, 1,240 clubs opened their doors to local people to attract new members, up from 900 in 2014.

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England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) funding for grassroots cricket and First Class Counties has been slashed in favour of increasing financial backing for the England Teams.
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