Report finds Cricket Scotland 'institutionally racist'

·2 min read

An independent review into allegations of racism at Cricket Scotland has found the governance and leadership practices of the organisation to be "institutionally racist".

The report, which found 448 examples of institutional racism, was commissioned by sportscotland, the national funding body, last year after Scotland's all-time leading wicket-taker Majid Haq and former teammate Qasim Sheikh said they had suffered racist abuse.

Haq and Sheikh's solicitor Aamer Anwar described the findings as "the most devastating verdict to be delivered on any sporting institution in the United Kingdom".

As part of the review an anonymous survey was carried out, with 62 percent of those who responded saying they had experienced, witnessed or had received reports of incidents of racism, inequalities or discrimination.

Allegations include racial abuse, use of inappropriate language, favouritism towards white children from public schools and a lack of a transparent selection process.

Huq and Sheikh never played for Scotland again after publicly expressing their opinion that race was a factor in selection.

"We were branded liars - Qasim for over a decade, me for seven-and-a half years," said Huq.

"It's been a relief for me and I really hope the future and current generation get the equal opportunities and support and backing.

"Any time you challenged anything you were branded a troublemaker."

The investigation, carried out by consultancy firm Plan4Sport, found Cricket Scotland failed in 29 out of 31 indicators of institutional racism.

As a result of the findings, the governing body has been placed into special measures until at least October 2023, with sportscotland effectively taking control of the organisation.

"Governance and leadership practices of Cricket Scotland have been institutionally racist," said Louise Tideswell, managing director of Plan4Sport.

"The reality is that the leadership of the organisation failed to see the problems and, in failing to do so, enabled a culture of racially aggravated micro-aggressions to develop."

On Sunday, the board of Cricket Scotland resigned en masse.

Interim chief executive Gordon Arthur said: "The racism and discrimination that has taken place in the sport that we all love should never have been allowed to happen, or to go unchallenged for so long.

"I would like to again issue a heartfelt apology to all those who have been the victims of racism and discrimination in Scottish cricket."

Among the recommendations of the review are for the new board to be comprised of no more than a 60-40 gender ratio either way and a minimum of 25 percent of members should come from black, south-east Asian, or other mixed or multiple ethnic groups.

The chief executive of sportscotland, Stewart Harris, described the findings as "deeply concerning and in some cases shocking".

"Today should also act as a wake-up call for all of Scottish sport," he added.

"Racism is a societal problem and it is no longer good enough to simply be non-racist, Scottish sport must now be actively anti-racist."

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