Cricket Scotland board resigns over racism report

Posted: 24th July 2022

Cricket Scotland’s board has resigned a day ahead of the publication of a review of racism in the sport.

It is expected to report findings of institutional racism in the Scottish game.

The directors resigned with immediate effect on Sunday morning.

“We are all truly sorry and have apologised publicly to everyone who has experienced racism, or any other form of discrimination, in cricket in Scotland,” they said.

In a letter sent to the interim chief executive of the governing body, they said they had not seen the contents of the report.

But they had been made aware of “proposed timescales and certain mandated actions” in the document.

They raised concerns that plans to find a speedy resolution to the racism issues, and to modernise the governance of the sport were “unachievable within the timetable proposed and the current governance framework”.

The racism investigation was commissioned by funding body SportScotland last year and is due to be published on Monday.

It followed allegations – some made by all-time leading wicket-taker Majid Haq – of racism and discrimination.

He represented Scotland on more than 200 occasions but did not play again after being sent home from the 2015 World Cup. At the time he hinted he felt victimised on grounds of race.

Aamer Anwar, the lawyer representing Mr Haq and Qasim Sheikh told BBC Radio Scotland’s The Sunday Show that the board’s resignation was “vindication” for his clients.

He said neither played for their country again after raising concerns about racism.

“Many who have followed in their footsteps have complained about a culture of systemic bullying, of racism, of humiliation and there has never been any accountability and transparency,” he added.

He said the resignation of the board was a “good start” and it would have been impossible for Cricket Scotland to continue in its current form.

“It’s a welcome step, but it’s just the start,” he added.

“What about the selectors, what about some of the umpires, what about the boards on local leagues because it would appear that if you are a person of colour then you face systemic racism.”

‘Exceptionally challenging’

During the review, carried out by equality and diversity specialist Plan4Sport, a number of referrals and allegations were passed to Police Scotland.

An interim report, released in April, revealed that more than 200 people had come forward to give evidence.

In a statement published after the board’s resignation, the governing body said: “Cricket Scotland will work in partnership with SportScotland with immediate effect to ensure appropriate governance, leadership and support is in place for the organisation and the sport in the days ahead.

“And these arrangements will be reviewed after the publication of the report into racism in cricket in Scotland and updates given accordingly.”

A spokesperson for SportScotland said: “This has been an exceptionally challenging time for everyone involved in Scottish cricket.

“We have been made aware of the board’s decision and as the national agency for sport, we will take immediate steps to provide significant additional governance and leadership support to Cricket Scotland.”

Last year former Yorkshire player Azeem Rafiq told MPs that English cricket was “institutionally” racist.

His testimony led to changes in Yorkshire’s leadership, Headingley being temporarily stripped of hosting international matches, and the England and Wales Cricket Board putting together a 12-point plan to tackle racism in the game.


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