LONDON: Cricket in Scotland is ‘institutionally racist’, reveals an investigation due out on Monday.
An independent review into racism in the Scottish game, commissioned by SportScotland in 2021, has been ordered after Scotland’s leading wicket-taker Majid Haq made allegations of discrimination while playing for his country.
The report was produced by equality and diversity specialists Plan4Sport and a number of referrals from the review have been made to Police Scotland, according to media reports.
More than 200 people have come forward to give evidence in the investigation.
Speaking to BBC Scotland in November last year, Haq said: “As an ethnic minority cricketer, you have to perform twice as well as a white counterpart to get the same opportunities.”
He alleges that despite winning over 200 caps for Scotland during his career, he was kicked out of the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand due to his run.
Haq spoke after former Yorkshire player Azeen Rafiq’s testimony to members of the UK parliament led to an upheaval in the management of Yorkshire CCC and its home ground Headingly stripped of organizing rights of international matches, and which has forced England and Wales Cricket Board to implement a 12-point plan to tackle racism in English cricket.
His teammate, Qasim Sheikh, also said 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 confirmed by this review it will be devastating for Cricket Scotland,” said Aamer Anwar, who represents Haq and Sheikh, told Sky News.
“There are those within the organization who should be ashamed of the treatment they have given to Majid and Qasim and so many other cricketers who have given their lives to cricket but have had their careers taken away from them. .
“In any other area of life, responsible people 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 has existed at Cricket Scotland and my clients have known it has for many years, across generations of cricketers,” he said.
SportScotland said it was “extremely concerned” by the findings of the Plan4Sport study and said it had not ruled out the withdrawal of funding from Cricket Scotland, which stood at £500,000 ($600,225) between 2019 and 2020.
Scotland’s cricket governing body has apologized to those who suffered abuse in the Scottish game.
“Cricket should be a welcoming place for everyone and not a place where racism or any form of discrimination takes place,” a spokesperson said.
“The Cricket Scotland Board is truly sorry for anyone who has experienced racism in cricket in Scotland.
“We would like to sincerely thank everyone who contributed to the review, but the Board is unable to comment on the independent review report as we will not see it until it is publicly released on Monday.”