The ECB is to train 2,000 South Asian female volunteer coaches, thanks to £1.2m of funding from Sport England, with Nottingham one of seven cities to directly benefit. 

The new volunteers will combine coaching and mentoring to inspire and support the next generation of cricketers.

They will support the delivery of All Stars Cricket, the ECB's entry-level-cricket programme for five-eight-year-olds, in seven cities (Birmingham, Bradford, London, Leeds, Leicester, Manchester and Nottingham) and act as role models, showing young people the positive part that cricket can play in their lives.

The ambition to expand the female coaching network was one of the 11 key measures outlined in the ECB's South Asian Action Plan, launched in May to transform the way cricket engages with British South Asian communities.

Thirty per cent of people surveyed during the consultation process for the plan said more female coaches would encourage more South Asian women and girls to play the game.

The funding was celebrated at a community event in Leicester yesterday, with former Nottinghamshire and England off spinner Graeme Swann, his Strictly partner Oti Mabuse, former England cricketer Isa Guha and local school children from Coleman Primary School and Al Aqsa School all taking part in an All Stars Cricket session hosted by Leicestershire Community Engagement Officer, Amna Rafiq.

Guha said: "Coming up through the ranks of cricket as a woman of South Asian heritage, I'm acutely aware of the importance of attracting young girls from a diverse range of backgrounds to play our great game.

"We need to invest in attracting women into coaching and facilitator roles to help train and nurture the next generation of stars. This funding from Sport England will go a long way towards helping us achieve this goal."