Current track

Title

Artist

Current show

From The Dugout

6:00 pm 7:00 pm

Current show

From The Dugout

6:00 pm 7:00 pm


‘Devastating’ review of Scottish cricket finds it to be ‘institutionally racist’, Sky News understands

Written by on 23 July 2022

A “devastating” review of Scottish cricket has found it to be institutionally racist, Sky News understands.

The findings of an independent investigation are due to be published on Monday and it’s expected to support allegations of significant and widespread racism within the Scottish game.

Investigators have made multiple referrals to a number of organisations, including Police Scotland, for alleged racist behaviour.

The lawyer representing two high-profile complainants says if the findings are confirmed, they amount to a “devastating indictment of the racism that exists in Cricket Scotland (the game’s governing body).”

The review was conducted following allegations made by Scotland’s all-time leading wicket-taker Majid Haq that Cricket Scotland was “institutionally racist”.

In an interview with Sky Sports last November, he and former team-mate Qasim Sheikh spoke of abuse that both had suffered throughout their careers.

Both men said they were treated differently from team-mates because of the colour of their skin.

The following month, SportScotland appointed Plan4Sport – an organisation that specialises in issues around equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) – to conduct a review.

Cricket - Holland v Scotland - Twenty20 International - The Brit Oval - 3/6/09 Scotland's Majid Haq Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Paul Harding  Image: Majid Haq told Sky Sports News last year that he suffered racist abuse

It has since taken contributions from several hundred people.

Speaking to Sky News in Edinburgh, Sheikh said that he was “lucky” to play for his national team but felt he was “treated differently” when entering the senior national team set-up.

The batsman made 27 caps for Scotland, his last one coming in 2010.

He said: “We were lucky to make it to that point but stumbled and didn’t play after speaking out about a coach at the time.

“Majid was sent home from the World Cup, never to play for his country again, I’ve never played again. These types of overreactions suggest to me that we are treated differently because of the colour of our skin compared to our white counterparts, which I don’t feel faced the same thing.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Former Scotland Cricket player Qasim Sheikh told Sky News he felt he was 3:02 Former Scotland cricket player Qasim Sheikh told Sky News he felt he was

“Playing for Scotland was everything to me, I travelled the world to better myself as a player. I played from the age of 12 for Scotland, all through the age groups.

“When I got to the national level, I just didn’t seem to get comfortable at any point and get the same opportunities as others.

“It’s affected my mental health, I was definitely going through depression two-three years after. This will probably never leave me, I will never be going back on a cricket pitch for Scotland again so I will probably be thinking of this for the rest of my days.

“Coming on 38 now, what’s important to me is the next generation, the current generation are treated fairly.”

He added that the “buck falls with leaders at board level”.

Qasim Sheikh Image: Qasim Sheikh told Sky News he suffered from depression after being dropped from the national team

Cricket Scotland is ‘dysfunctional’

Sky News understands that, in their findings, the investigators support the claims of institutional racism within Scottish cricket.

One source said: “The fundamental claim at the start of this was about institutional racism at the heart of cricket. This review concludes that it’s very much the case.”

Aamer Anwar, who represents Haq and Sheikh, spoke to Sky News ahead of the report’s publication.

He said: “Cricket Scotland is dysfunctional and institutionally racist – if that is confirmed by this review, it will be devastating for Cricket Scotland.

“There are those within the organisation 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.”

A spokesperson for Cricket Scotland said: “Cricket should be a welcoming place for everyone and not somewhere that racism or any form of discrimination takes place.

“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.”

Read more from Sky News:
Rafiq calls for ‘total clear-out’ of Yorkshire leadership
England Test captain vows to change cricket’s dressing room culture

Events in Scotland follow a racism scandal in English cricket.

Last year, several top officials resigned from Yorkshire County Cricket Club following allegations by former captain Azeem Rafiq.

He complained of institutional racism at the club and said abuse regarding his Pakistani heritage had left him close to taking his own life.

Source