LONDON: Cricket in Scotland is “institutionally racist,” an investigation due to be published on Monday will reveal.
An independent review into racism in the Scottish game, commissioned by SportScotland in 2021, was ordered after Scotland’s leading wicket-taker Majid Haq made allegations of discrimination while playing for his country.
The report was carried out by equality and diversity specialists Plan4Sport and a number of referrals from the review were made to Police Scotland, according to media reports.
More than 200 people came forward to give evidence to the inquiry.
Speaking to BBC Scotland in November last year, Haq said: “As an ethnic minority cricketer, you need to perform twice as well as a white counterpart to get the same opportunities.”
He alleges that, despite earning more than 200 caps for Scotland in his career, he was sent home from the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand because of his race.
Haq spoke out after the testimony of former Yorkshire player Azeen Rafiq to members of the British parliament, which led to a shake-up in the leadership of Yorkshire CCC and its home ground Headingly stripped of international match hosting rights, and which forced the England and Wales Cricket Board to implement a 12-point plan to tackle racism in English cricket.
His teammate, Qasim Sheikh, also said that he suffered abuse throughout his career, alleging he and Haq were treated differently because of the color of their skin.
“Cricket Scotland is dysfunctional and institutionally racist — if that is confirmed by this review, it will be devastating for Cricket Scotland,” Aamer Anwar, who represents Haq and Sheikh, said to Sky News.
“There are those within the organization who should be ashamed of their treatment of Majid and Qasim and so many other cricketers who gave their lives to cricket but saw their careers taken away from them.
“In any other walk of life, the individuals responsible would find themselves out of a job, in a jail cell, or banished from public life.
“Yet, when it comes to cricket, they are rewarded with promotions and status.
“Racism exists in Cricket Scotland and my clients know that has been the case for many years, through generations of cricketers,” he said.
SportScotland said that it was “extremely concerned” by the findings of the Plan4Sport study, and said it had not ruled out withdrawal of funding for Cricket Scotland, which totalled £500,000 ($600,225) between 2019 and 2020.
The governing body for cricket in Scotland apologized to those who had suffered abuse in the Scottish game.
“Cricket should be a welcoming place for everyone and not somewhere that racism or any form of discrimination takes place,” a spokesperson said.
“The Cricket Scotland Board is truly sorry to everyone who has experienced racism in cricket in Scotland.
“We would like to sincerely thank everyone who has been involved in contributing to the review, however the board is not in a position to comment on the independent review’s report as we will not see it until it is published publicly on Monday.”
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