£2m government funding boost for our work in SEND schools

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has today announced a £35 million investment into grassroots cricket facilities and widening access to the sport within state schools, with £2 million going towards our continued growth of our disability cricket offer across the country.

This significant investment includes funding for the Lord’s Taverners over the next four years which will allow us to extend our already growing work in disability cricket and special educational needs and disability (SEND) schools - enabling us to take the game to 80,000 children over the next four years.

Lord’s Taverners CEO Mark Curtin said: “So many young people with a disability have limited access to sport. But our life changing work with young people living with a disability and those in SEND settings in partnership with the ECB is providing free and inclusive cricket sessions in a school and community setting. It gives participants the chance to thrive, be valued, become more resilient and gain skills for life both on and off the pitch.

“We’re seeing daily the difference cricket is making to the lives of those we work with either through increasing their self-confidence, feeling more included, or providing a safe space to play a sport that they wouldn’t have otherwise.

The fantastic news of this Government funding will allow us to continue to grow our reach and have an even greater impact - giving more opportunities to demonstrate that young people living with a disability can thrive.”

The wider investment in the game will enable over 900,000 young people to play cricket but also deliver 16 new urban all-weather cricket domes within cities due to host ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in 2026 and ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in 2030.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “I first experienced the magic of cricket watching Hampshire play at my local ground in Southampton as a child.

“For young people watching their first match today, the draw of getting outside and enjoying the game is just as strong, particularly as we look forward to hosting the Women’s and Men’s T20 World Cups.

“There remains huge potential to grow the sport even further and open it up to everyone, from all backgrounds and in all parts of the country.

“That is why I am so proud we are making a major £35 million investment in grassroots cricket today, to widen participation in schools, encourage healthy lifestyles and provide world class, all-year-round facilities for local communities.”

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ECB Chair Richard Thompson said: “We are delighted by this investment from the Government. It’s our ambition that cricket becomes the most inclusive sport in the country and that starts by giving children the chance to play from an early age and from whatever background or community they come from.

“It is vital that cricket is available in as many state schools and SEND schools across England and Wales as possible, and across diverse communities. This support from Government represents a seminal moment in enabling the game to invest significantly in areas that up until now have not had the support they deserve.

“Cricket is a diverse sport and our game has a unique reach across the UK’s population. Hosting both a women’s and a men’s Cricket World Cup between 2026 and 2030, and the inclusion of cricket in the Olympics for the first time in almost 130 years, gives us a platform to reach more young people than ever before and we’re really excited about that as a game.”

England Men’s cricketer James Anderson said: “I know from first-hand experience that accessing cricket from a state school is not always the easiest route into the game, so it’s fantastic to hear that today’s announcement will support state school students.

"Chance To Shine, Lord’s Taverners and the ACE Programme all play a huge role in helping to take cricket to young people. It’s important that they are supported by the ECB and the Government in delivering their programmes across England and Wales, and I’m sure today’s announcement will help bring more young people into cricket.”


Learn more about our work in SEND schools so far

Click here
2024 Overview

Our Work in SEND Schools

Following the introduction of our work in SEND schools at the start of the last academic year thanks to additional funding from the ECB, we reached nearly 600 SEND schools and just over 19,000 young people with a disability through cricket, which includes over 400 new schools and 13,000 participants getting access to the game through school for the first time.


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