Governance and Leadership Framework for Wales - CEO of Cricket Wales Peter Hybart

"The Governance and Leadership Framework for Wales is a tool Cricket Wales has used quite a bit since it's launch. We started using it in 2015 and I was actually involved in the sector working party that came up with the framework with Sport Wales, so I guess I had a little bit of a head start from that point view.

"It's been a really useful framework for us at Cricket Wales. I remember taking the GLFW to our board in 2015 and one of the key things was that it was a voluntary code, so the board didn't feel under any undue pressure that they had to use it. The board immediately knew there was a movement which was that if we wanted to be one of the most progressive sports in the sector then we had to look at the document and take it seriously.

"I recall that there was a bit of discussion around the boardroom where some people took a little bit of backseat and listened but in the end, we signed up to the framework. We then set up a governance working group to look at the framework and see where the areas were that we were falling short in. There was certainly things within the framework that got us all thinking and made us realise that we had some work to do.

"We set up a working group underneath the board which involved key influential people from the board. We then mixed those individuals with people from other sports such as hockey, golf and football to get that outside perspective and to also hear what other sports were doing.

"The principle we focused most on was principle four and this is the area of a balanced and skilled board. Our governance working group looked at all of the principles, but this was the one we felt we had a great opportunity to make major progress in. We had a good board in place with great people but we felt there was a lot of too many similar people from similar backgrounds so there was a definite opportunity with this principle".

"We realised in order to meet the requirements of the framework we had to move to people being appointed to our board. We also talked about independence and more diversity and we knew that needed an appointment process rather than an election process. The great thing about the changes we were able to make was that we managed to end up in a situation where everyone is appointed to the board and not just from within cricket meaning everyone has to be interviewed.

"We advertise widely, which we started back in 2016 and we had a really strong response and high calibre individuals in a really competitive process. But prior to that I recall some of the discussions we had in around the old board table were really quite challenging in terms of how we could bring this about and we knew there was room for improvement. The key for the board at that time was that they needed confidence in the nominations panel to interview people, so we needed expertise within the cricket network to form that panel. Once we had cracked that we were away although it did take a bit of time and at one stage we were going to take this recommendation of changing our articles to our AGM but the board had their own reservations so we had to delay it for six months. Instead we called an AGM knew that the current board were absolutely behind it. The six-month delay was well worth doing because it meant when we took it to that AGM, the membership approved it pretty unanimously and we didn't cause any disruption within the sport which is key when you try to bring about these sorts of changes.

"I guess when I reflect back on that, how you lead the process and your openness is very powerful. If we tried to push things through, or the board or membership didn't feel we were totally open with them, then they would start doubting our integrity or our trust, then I'm not sure we would have been able to gain the support that we did. In the end it went through, we have increased the diversity of our board and every year since we have had a very successful appointments prosses. That shift from elections to being able to influence the appointments process has been a key change for cricket and what's really important for any membership organisation is that if they make the shift to appointments then it enables the membership to always have the final say.

"I think we are well aware in the sector that we need to keep pushing on and further increase the diversity of our board with a particular focus on the gender balance. We have a very clear target but given the success over the last few years I don't envisage a big problem there. The current board and the membership recognise that the changes we have made so far have been good and we will continue this summer, throughout 2019 and 2020, to further recruit for the board through the nominations panel. We will carry on using the framework over the next few years in terms of the balance and skill of the board."

"I guess one of our next challenges is that we need to start influencing below the board in terms of the pipeline and the talent that feeds the board. We have a network of around 230 clubs, leagues, umpire associations and groundsman associations and the women's game is growing quickly so we are finding that there are more women getting involved with club committees which is good. But certainly, our leagues and our regional associations are very male dominated and are predominantly white males so there is an opportunity to increase the diversity of the pipeline that feeds the board. This is not just in terms of the women or gender but the south Asian community and the BME community have a real passion for cricket, but they currently play a lot of their cricket outside of the system and governing body.

"We have made quite a bit of progress in trying to build some of those bridges, but we need to make further progress there and use the new framework to bring about change. The new iteration of the framework will help us in our next stages of marketisation of the sport and there is a long-term ambition from the England and Wales cricket board, of which we are apart, that the sport is gender neutral by the year 2030. It's an ambitious aspiration but we want to be part of that. It means not just women and girls playing the game, it means women and girls involved in all aspects in the administration of the sport such as club and league committees as well as regional associations, groundsman associations, umpires and scorers. A long time ago the women in cricket just did the tea's and already that's changed significantly but to get to gender neutral in the sport we have a long way to go and it's a great aspiration for ourselves as a sport."