Paul Nixon - Leicestershire head coach

Leicestershire head coach Paul Nixon proud to be visionaries of women in sport

Leicestershire cricket club head coach Paul Nixon admitted his excitement working alongside a more diverse boardroom and praised the revolution occurring at the club.

The appointments of Karen Rothery as chief executive in January who replaced Wasim Khan now managing director of Pakistan and Mehmooda Duke, chairwoman at the start of June signify a coup at the club and history of county cricket.

Leicestershire are the first cricket club in the country to have two women in senior positions within county cricket, following Lisa Pursehouse who succeeded Derek Brewer as chief executive at Nottinghamshire in 2012.

Earlier this year Clare Connor became the first woman as managing director of women’s cricket in March.

Nixon, 48, said: “We
are the first club to do it in county cricket and it is a very positive move,
especially with the way women’s cricket and women’s sport is at the moment.

“It is a great time
for women in sport. I think for us to be visionaries in that department is

“Karen’s appointment
as CEO is an outstanding appointment, she has fitted in brilliantly already and
we are looking forward to working together for many years.

“Mehmooda Duke has
come in as chairwoman which is fantastic, a real coup for Leicestershire.”

Their appointments
come at a crucial time for the club and Nixon believes both are undertaking a
more sustainable approach and further connect the Asian community and deal with
the financial limitations.

“Leicestershire are a
non-Test match ground, so the gulf is getting bigger and bigger between the
Test match grounds and the non-Test match grounds.

“The finances are much
tighter, we have to be much more stringent with what we spend and how we spend

“We never went away on
a pre-season tour this year, we could not afford it right now and it is about
high priority.

“At the moment when we
are trying to update our facilities, the Hundred money we help that massively
to try and develop the ground and make it sustainable moving forward for
Leicestershire county cricket club.

“We know as players,
coaching staff and club employees that everything matters, and everything
counts at small clubs.

For Nixon and the
club, utilising the community department is essential financially, community-wise
and for future development.

Currently the club supports
over 120 schools and actively have cricket going on within them.

“The platform that
they (students) come and use at Leicestershire county cricket club, kids’
classes come here around the ground as often as we can on days off and during

“The kids play on the outfield which is wonderful.”

Currently there are 30 Under-13 girls with three south Asians in the squad, however numbers decrease with only one south Asian out of 15 in the Under-17s team and women’s team.

“The community
department are bringing our own, which is a massive part of our success.”

For smaller clubs, the
economical option is to bring in our own children within our area and our
community said Nixon.

“They have got an
emotional connection with the club already. Financially it makes sense to keep
them here as well, rather than buy in.”

“We cannot afford to
buy in big players from around the country, so it is crucial that our pathway
programme, our emerging player programme, our academy and our summer academy
are really, really exciting places to be with good coaching, good facilities.”


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