Report author ‘shocked’ by scale of institutional racism at Cricket Scotland

Plan4Sport’s Louise Tideswell was shocked by Cricket Scotland’s racism (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Wire)

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

The organization will be placed in special measures by sportscotland, the national sports agency, after the discovery of 448 cases of institutional racism.

Consultancy firm Plan4Sport was commissioned by sportscotland in December after former Scotland players Majid Haq and Qasim Sheikh made allegations of racism following revelations about Yorkshire County Cricket Club.

After nearly 1,000 people signed up for the review, the findings were overwhelming.

Of the two criteria that the sports organization has passed, there have been partial failures.

According to an anonymous survey, 122 people said they had been victims of racial discrimination and 49 people said they had been victims of discrimination based on religion or belief. Most (62%) of survey respondents had experienced, seen or received reports of racism or other forms of discrimination.

From conversations, 68 individual concerns were referred 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, the use of inappropriate language, favoritism towards white children in public schools and the lack of a transparent selection process.

The review also found a lack of diversity or anti-racism training; no consistent process for dealing with racist incidents with people who have raised “sidelined or ignored” issues, a lack of diversity from the board level to the coaching staff and within the talent journey , and a lack of transparency in the selection process.

Louise Tideswell presents the report (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Wire)

Louise Tideswell presents the report (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Wire)

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

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

“The reality is that the leadership of the organization has failed to see the issues and in doing so has allowed a culture of racially aggravated microaggressions to develop.

“But I also want to add that while the governance and leadership practices of the organization have been institutionally racist, the same cannot be said of cricket in Scotland. There are many exceptional clubs and individuals who offer local programs that truly engage with diverse communities.

Qasim Sheikh spoke out (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Wire)

Qasim Sheikh spoke out (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Wire)

Although no details were given on individual cases in the report, the public accounts of Haq and Sheikh give context to the findings.

Sheikh never played for Scotland again after the age of 25, although he was forced to apologize for claiming race was a selection factor. Now 37 and with his international career long over, Sheikh feels he was let down for two poor performances shortly after hitting consecutive centuries for his country.

Haq is the country’s top wicket-taker and has played over 200 internationals, but is not in the Scotland Hall of Fame and saw his international career come to an end after posting a tweet giving his opinion that the race was a selection factor when it was dropped at the 2015 Worlds Cup.

Majid Haq describes his treatment (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Wire)

Majid Haq describes his treatment (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Wire)

Haq was sent home, suspended for three months and claimed he was denied help for mental health issues despite his suicidal feelings. He described a number of instances of having faced racial and religious discrimination throughout his career in Scotland and made 10 referrals to the review team.

The Changing Boundaries report made three key recommendations. Cricket Scotland, whose entire board resigned on Sunday, will be taken under special measures by sportscotland until at least October 2023, while diversity ratios have been suggested for the composition of the new board. ‘administration.

The second key recommendation is that one of Scotland’s five regional associations, the Western District Cricket Union, be placed in special measures by Cricket Scotland, which has also been urged to address the backlog of referrals with any investigation that resulting in having to be undertaken by a third party. with appropriate expertise.

sportscotland chief executive Stewart Harris called the findings “deeply concerning and, in some cases, shocking”.

Sportscotland's Stewart Harris (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Wire)

Sportscotland’s Stewart Harris (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Wire)

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

“There has been progress in recent months, but we need to see more action taken to address the issues raised and, importantly, this includes referrals.”

Cricket Scotland’s interim chief executive Gordon Arthur, who took office earlier this month, has issued a ‘sincere apology’ to victims of racism and other discrimination, although he has stopped speaking publicly apologize to Haq and Sheikh until removal processes are complete.

Arthur added: “It is clear that a significant cultural shift needs to happen and it needs to happen quickly.

“The immediate priority must be to ensure that the independent removal process is agreed upon and implemented so that removal investigations can begin.”

Lola R. McClure