Cricket Scotland inquiry hears 448 examples of racism

An independent review into allegations of racism in Scottish cricket has found the governance and leadership of the sport to be institutionally racist.

It also found that those who did raise issues were ignored or side-lined and a culture of “racially aggravated micro-aggression” was allowed to develop.

The review highlighted 448 examples that demonstrated institutional racism.

It was commissioned by Sportscotland after a number of allegations were made last year.

An anonymous survey was carried out as part of the review, with 62% of those who responded saying they had experienced, seen or had reported to them incidents of racism, inequalities or discrimination.

Equality and diversity group Plan4Sport, which carried out the review for funding body Sportscotland, found:

  • A lack of any equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) or anti-racist training in place for board, staff, volunteers, players, coaches or umpires;
  • No consistent mechanism or process for handling racist incidents;
  • A lack of diversity from board level to coaching;
  • Lack of transparency in the selection process in the talent pathway and the absence of a single uniform approach to selection.

The entire Cricket Scotland board resigned on Sunday, ahead of the report’s publication, in response to the findings and recommendations from the review.

The operations of Cricket Scotland has now been placed in special measures, which means Sportscotland has effectively taken control until October 2023.

A new Cricket Scotland board must be in place by September 2022 and consist of 40% male and 40% female, with at least 25% from an ethnic minority.

Special measures are also being placed on the Western District Cricket Union, which has a temporary suspension from managing their own disciplinary matters, and must complete an independent review into its governance by the end of September.

Almost 1,000 people gave evidence in the inquiry commissioned following allegations – some made by all-time leading wicket-taker Majid Haq – of racism and discrimination.

Mr Haq 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.

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.

A total of 68 concerns raised during the review in Scotland were referred for further inquiry, some to Police Scotland. They related to 31 allegations of racism against 15 different people, two clubs and one regional association.

One incident reported to the police has already led to a person appearing in court. (Courtesy BBC)