The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has formed a partnership with Microsoft to utilise the firm’s technology to drive innovation with the sport.

The collaboration will be focussed on three areas: cricket communities, high performance and cultural transformation.

Microsoft and the ECB will provide digital skills training to grassroots cricket communities and organisations, from volunteers to young participants, as part of the technology company’s ‘Get On’ campaign, which aims to help 1.5 million people build careers in technology by 2024.

Tom Harrison, ECB Chief Executive, commented: “This partnership has the potential to transform every level of our game. The ability to drive innovation across high performance cricket will support the continued excellence of our elite teams, and the opportunities we will provide together across the whole recreational cricketing community will improve the life chances of many young people and adults.

“We could not have a better partner than Microsoft as we look to put technology at the heart of our business, develop the culture of the game, and bring our purpose to life.”

The ECB said that the partnership will allow the board to ‘to explore how artificial intelligence, real-time data and analytics can inform the performance of England’s national teams’ with the help of Microsoft.

The two parties will investigate ball-tracking technology and how the solution can unearth new talent within the sport, accelerating the ECB’s ‘Inspiring Generations’ strategic plan.

“Microsoft is proud to support the England and Wales Cricket Board in its quest to become a digital-first organisation that can meet the needs and expectations of fans and players now and in the future,” said Clare Barclay, CEO of Microsoft UK.

“A key aspect of our work together is to create long lasting economic change in local communities by helping people acquire digital skills so vital to their futures. This partnership is a great example of how we at Microsoft can fulfil our mission of empowering people and organisations around the world to achieve more.”

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