ECB called on to review historic abuse within cricket

There have been further calls for cricket authorities to undertake a "deep dive" into historic abuse within the sport and learn from those with lived experience.

David, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was abused as a child by former Durham cricket coach Michael Strange.

David has told the PA news agency he believes it would be beneficial if the England and Wales Cricket Board commissioned an independent review of abuse, similar to the one led by Clive Sheldon QC in football following the scandal surrounding paedophile football coach Barry Bennell among others.

He also revealed he had received no contact from anyone at the ECB and Durham to offer support at any stage, even after Strange was sentenced for indecently assaulting him in early 2016.

Ian Ackley, who waived his anonymity in 1994 to speak out about the abuse he suffered at the hands of Bennell, now works as a support advocate for other survivors of abuse at all levels of football, funded by the Football Association and the Professional Footballers' Association.

He urged the ECB to act on David's call and said: "They should embrace the notion of learning from those with lived experience to better understand where there have been failings and gaps in the system previously.

"The ECB could look at what we have learned so far (about abuse in sport) and use this as the foundation to springboard forwards from.

"Any review should not be given a framework that excludes looking at information that comes to light from any enquiry by narrowly defining what can be looked at, or what time frame it might apply to.

"I would suggest that a deep dive with free rein to look wherever, and relating to whenever, would be the most informative way forward."

In all, Strange has been convicted on four separate occasions of abusing young players he was coaching at two clubs in the north east, and was most recently sentenced in January this year.

David was abused by Strange as a 14-year-old and is convinced there are others out there who have not yet come forward.

"At the time Strange was a trustworthy coach, a proven coach, someone who young cricketers did look up to, very knowledgeable," David said.

"The publicity (from holding an inquiry) that could prompt someone to speak out is a better thing than not doing anything at all.

"Yes, it's going to have negatives, but if there are any positives at all out there, it's better to look for them than hide away the negatives."

An ECB spokesperson said the governing body was "deeply disturbed" about what had happened to David, adding: "Following his arrest in 2005, the ECB imposed an interim suspension on Michael Strange from all cricket activity, and he was permanently disqualified from all cricket activity in April 2006.

"The ECB does not hold any information about the offences, which were dealt with by the police, for which Mr Strange was convicted post-2006 or of the identity of any victims.

"We are working with the statutory agencies to understand a detailed chronology in the intervening years to the extent those agencies are able to share information with us."

The ECB is close to publishing a new Safeguarding Strategy which incorporates all the recommendations of the Sheldon Review, most of which were already implemented or in progress prior to the Sheldon Review being published.

Dino Nocivelli, a lawyer who has worked with abuse survivors within sport, tweeted: "I fully support this call (for a Sheldon-type review in cricket) and questions have to be asked as why this hasn't already been done.

"Survivors deserve answers and all that play cricket should be safe from abuse."

Durham have been approached for comment.

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