Carlos Brathwaite has said he is stunned by the “shocking” lack of black cricketers in the county game and believes it is a sign of deeper discrimination.
Brathwaite, the West Indies all-rounder who will be commentating on the England Test series next week for the BBC, has also pointed to the lack of black coaches as a failing of the system.
Telegraph Sport revealed two weeks ago that only two of the 118 managers or coaches employed by counties last season were black.
Last week, Lonsdale Skinner, the chairman of the African-Caribbean Cricketers’ Association, told Telegraph Sport the England & Wales Cricket Board should appoint a black QC to lead an inquiry into the issue.
On Monday the ECB will announce an extension to its diversity programmes. Now Brathwaite has joined the growing debate in English cricket.
“Wow, that is a shocking number if only 18 counties can find nine cricketers at that level,” he said. “How many students have been denied an opportunity to give them the platform to play second XI and then go on and play county cricket? It is not just about county cricket, it is the pathway being blocked from black players being seen. If the platform is given often enough then you will be seen but if you only get one chance out of a hundred then there is a high chance you may not have performed at that right time.
“I spoke to Jofra Archer after he was racially abused in New Zealand. The racism experienced is not only calling the n-word or saying 'you are black, I am white'. It is the lack of black coaches at a high level in cricket and managers in football.
“I cannot see a reason why so many good black players do not transition into coaching at the same numbers. It is just the thinking around it. It is automatically assumed the black man is probably a good strength and conditioning coach but not a good coach or manager. It is about reprogramming those thoughts and understanding no matter my colour, view me as a human being and treat me as a person. Accept I can do any job I put my mind to if I put my skill set to it. Don’t hire a coach just because they are black, but if there are two to choose from for one job don’t choose them on colour.”