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 was described as a “wake up call for Scottish sport”, found 448 examples of institutional racism. A review 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.
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.
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.”
The issue of racism within British cricket as a whole was brought to the fore again two years ago when former spinner Azeem Rafiq said he had been subjected to racial harassment and bullying during his time as a player for leading English county Yorkshire.
Although an investigation upheld seven of Rafiq’s 43 allegations, the club initially stated nobody would be disciplined, a decision that was greeted with widespread incredulity.
Pressure eventually mounted on Yorkshire, leading to a mass clear-out of senior boardroom figures and coaching staff.
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