Essex Cricket has announced a new three-year partnership with the South Asian Cricket Academy (SACA), with the aim of enhancing the prospects within cricket for diverse communities within East London.
The new partnership will be based at the Leyton Hub, which was opened in 2019, and will link up with the East London Development Programme, which oversees boys’ and girls’ cricket in London boroughs including Newham, Redbridge, Havering, Barking & Dagenham and Waltham Forest.
SACA, which was launched in 2021, seeks to tackle the lack of British South Asian (BSA) representation in professional cricket, and was developed on the back of a PHD undertaken by Tom Brown in partnership with ECB, Warwickshire and Birmingham City University.
The programme is intended to fill a void created by the disbanding of the MCCU and MCC Young Cricketers programmes, which had previously been a means of bringing through players that might otherwise have been lost to the professional game.
“We are proud to be partnering with SACA ahead of the upcoming season,” Dan Feist, Essex’s Head of Cricket Operations, said. “They have achieved a huge amount over the last few years, and we are looking forward to helping them develop in the future for the greater good of cricket development in East London.
“Working with the next generation of cricketers and coaches in our local communities is important to Essex Cricket and the game, the opportunities SACA are creating for young cricketers will help grow the game and the talent in the region along supporting players on the pathway or just off the pathway.”
With 55% of Essex Cricket’s Player Pathway comes from an ethnic background, and the East London region has been a strong breeding ground for professional players in the past, with Nasser Hussain, Ravi Bopara, Varun Chopra and most recently, Feroze Khushi and Robin Das all emanating from the area.
Several SACA players are due to link up with the Essex Development team over the next three years, while a T20 fixture between an Essex Cricket XI and a SACA XI is due to take place on May 15 at Chelmsford.