Sir Andrew Strauss calls for a change in cricket culture
Former England captain Sir Andrew Strauss has called for men's cricket to axe "dressing room banter" from its culture.
Strauss, who recently conducted a high-performance review into cricket in this country, used his Marylebone Cricket Club Cowdrey Lecture to highlight the importance of the spirit of cricket which was commonly associated with the late Lord Cowdrey of Tonbridge.
Former England captain Strauss admitted the macho behaviour in dressing rooms had verged on bullying at times and insisted its approach must be softened in 2023 with reference to events at Yorkshire, where Azeem Rafiq suffered racial harassment and bullying that made the former spinner suicidal.
"Perhaps more importantly the spirit of cricket needs to accompany modern players and I am speaking primarily about the men's game now into an area that neither the prying eyes of the media or the feverish adulation of the fans penetrates; the dressing room," Strauss said on Wednesday.
"As we move forward together as a game with players of different genders, races, creeds and beliefs coming together, so the traditional macho, hierarchical, perhaps at times verging on 'bullying' dressing-room banter will need to be softened to a culture that is more tolerant, understanding, welcoming and embracing of difference.
"The events over the last 18 months, whether they come from Yorkshire or elsewhere have shown we have a lot of work to do in this area, but the spirit of cricket demands this."
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