The report’s author is “shocked” by the level of institutional racism in Cricket Scotland

An author of an independent report on Cricket Scotland was “shocked” to see the governing body failed to meet 29 out of 31 indicators of institutional racism.

The organization is being placed under special measures by Sportscotland, the national agency for sport, after 448 cases of institutional racism were uncovered.

Consulting firm Plan4Sport was hired by Sportscotland in December after former Scotland players Majid Haq and Qasim Sheikh claimed racism following revelations about Yorkshire County Cricket Club.

After nearly 1,000 people participated in the review, the conclusions were damning.

Of the two criteria that the sports organization met, there were partial errors.

From an anonymous survey, 122 people said they had been discriminated against on a racial basis and 49 people said they had been discriminated against because of their religion or belief. Most (62 percent) of survey respondents had experienced, seen, or received reports of racism or other forms of discrimination.

From talks, 68 individual concerns were forwarded for further investigation, including 31 allegations of racism against 15 people, two clubs and a regional association. Some cases have been referred to Police Scotland, some to Children First and others to Cricket Scotland. No further details were given, but someone has already appeared in court.

The allegations include racial abuse, inappropriate language, preferential treatment of white children from public schools and the lack of a transparent selection process.

The review also found a lack of diversity or anti-racist training, a lack of a consistent process for handling racist incidents involving individuals who have “segregated or ignored” issues, a lack of diversity from the board level to the coaching staff and within the talent path, and a lack of Transparency in the selection process.

Plan4Sport chief executive Louise Tideswell said it was clear that Cricket Scotland’s “governance and leadership practices had been institutionally racist”.

“I’m shocked that a sport can meet 29 of the 31 indicators,” she said.

“The reality is that the organization’s leadership failed to recognize the issues, thereby allowing the development of a culture of racially exacerbated microaggressions.

“But I would also like to add that while the organisation’s governance and leadership practices were institutionally racist, the same should not be said for cricket in Scotland. There are many outstanding clubs and individuals who offer local programs that truly serve different communities.”

Qasim Sheikh spoke up (Andrew Milligan/PA)

(PA wire)

Although the report did not provide details on individual cases, Haq and Sheikh’s public reports provide context on the findings.

Sheikh never played for Scotland again after the age of 25, although he has had to apologize for claims that race was a factor in the selection. Sheikh is now 37 years old and has long since completed his international career. He feels he was dropped for two poor performances shortly after achieving consecutive centuries for his country.

Haq is the nation’s leading wicket-taker and has over 200 caps but is not in Scotland’s Hall of Fame and saw the end of his international career after sending a tweet expressing his opinion that the race was on Factor in the selection was when he was dropped at the 2015 World Cup.

Haq was sent home, suspended for three months and claimed he was denied mental health support despite suicidal thoughts. He has outlined a number of examples of him having been a victim of racial and religious discrimination throughout his career in Scotland and made 10 recommendations to the review team.

The Changing the Boundaries report makes three key recommendations. Cricket Scotland, whose entire board resigned on Sunday, will be run by Sportscotland under special measures until at least October 2023, while diversity ratios have been proposed for the composition of the new board.

The second key recommendation is that one of Scotland’s five regional bodies, the Western District Cricket Union, be implicated in special measures by Cricket Scotland, which have also been encouraged to tackle the backlog of transfers, with any resulting investigations carried out by third parties with appropriate expertise.

Sportscotland chief executive Stewart Harris described the results as “deeply worrying and in some cases shocking”.

Sportscotland’s Stewart Harris (Andrew Milligan/PA)

(PA wire)

He said: “As the national sporting authority, we will work with and support Cricket Scotland to help change the culture of Scottish cricket and that must be the focus now.

“Some progress has been made in recent months, but we need to take further steps to address the issues raised, and most importantly, that includes referrals.”

Gordon Arthur, the interim chief executive of Cricket Scotland, who took up his role earlier this month, issued a “sincere” apology to victims of racism and other discrimination, although he did not publicly apologize to Haq and Sheikh until referral procedures were completed.

Arthur added: “It’s clear that a significant cultural shift needs to happen, and fast.

“The immediate priority must be to agree and implement the independent referral process so that investigations into the referrals can begin.” The report’s author is “shocked” by the level of institutional racism in Cricket Scotland

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