Game shaken

Cricket Scotland board quits in racism row

cricket Scotland - Calum Macleod
Cricket in crisis: A damning report will be published on Monday (pic: Terry Murden)

Cricket Scotland’s board has resigned ahead of a review that will confirm findings of institutionalised racism in the game.

The board announced on Sunday morning that all members were stepping down with immediate effect ahead of publication of the report on Monday.

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

“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.

The racism investigation was commissioned by funding body SportScotland last year.

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 was sent home from the 2015 World Cup and suggested he felt victimised on grounds of race.

Aamer Anwar, the lawyer representing Mr Haq and Qasim Sheikh said 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.

An interim report carried out by equality and diversity specialist Plan4Sport, released in April, revealed that more than 200 people had given evidence.

Following 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.”

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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 the leadership of Yorkshire cricket, with 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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