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BLM movement forces English cricket to face 'uncomfortable truths'

The England and Wales Cricket Board wants to apply the "Rooney Rule" to help address the lack of black and minority ethnic (BAME) coaches.

FILE: England's Ben Stokes in action against New Zealand on day one of the first Test at Mount Maunganui. Picture: @englandcricket/Twitter

LONDON - English cricket chiefs said the Black Lives Matter movement had forced them to face "uncomfortable truths" as they announced measures to boost diversity on Tuesday.

The England and Wales Cricket Board wants to apply the "Rooney Rule" to help address the lack of black and minority ethnic (BAME) coaches.

First implemented in the NFL, the rule states that at least one ethnic minority candidate is interviewed for each position advertised.

The ECB also plans to introduce an anti-discrimination charter and code.

England stand-in captain Ben Stokes said players would show a "gesture" of support for the fight against racial injustice when international cricket returns with a Test against the West Indies on Wednesday, although he stopped short of saying players would take a knee.

Both England and the West Indies will wear BLM logos on their shirts.

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said speaking to black former team-mates in recent weeks had been a chastening experience.

"Alongside most of society, we have had to confront some uncomfortable truths in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement," Harrison told a conference call.

"We have listened and will continue to listen carefully to the experiences of black people in cricket and society, and we thank those who worked tirelessly and spoke bravely to open up conversations about the change our sport needs to create.

"We have made strong strides in many areas to become a more inclusive and diverse sport, but we realise there is a great deal more to do."

The ECB said it wanted to increase the diversity of its own board and that of the 18 first-class counties, saying the aim was to "have at least 30 percent women and a BAME target guided by the make-up of their local population as quickly as possible".