Scotland Cricket Board resigns over reports of racism
The board of the Scottish Cricket Federation resigned on Sunday following allegations of institutional racism in an independent review which is due to be published on Monday. Cricket Scotland tweeted on Sunday: “The Board of Cricket Scotland has resigned. We will work in partnership with @sportscotland with immediate effect to ensure proper governance, leadership and support for the sport in the coming days.”
Scotland’s all-time leading wicket-taker Majid Haque told Sky Sports News that Cricket Scotland was “institutionally racist”, after a review was launched last year by national funding body Sport Scotland.
Haq’s former partner Qasim Shaikh said he too had faced racist abuse.
In its resignation letter to the interim chief executive, the Board of Cricket Scotland said it was “really sorry” and apologized for “everybody experienced racism, or any other form of discrimination” while playing the game in Scotland.
“The review has achieved an unparalleled level of engagement and we believe it will be truly transformative, not only for Cricket Scotland and the game of cricket, but it will provide a watershed moment for Scottish sport and society in general. “
The present board has not gone through the contents of the report, the statement said. However, it said the board was apprised of the “proposed timeline and certain mandatory actions” recommended by the review.
In the view of the outgoing board, plans to quickly resolve issues of racism and modernize the running of Cricket Scotland were “unacceptable within the proposed timetable and the current governance framework”.
“As a result, we are confident that we must step aside now to enable the progress needed in the coming months,” the statement said.
The issue of racism within British cricket resurfaced two years ago when former spinner Azim Rafique said he had been subjected to racial harassment and bullying during his time as a key player for England County Yorkshire.
This prompted the Headingley-based club to investigate allegations by Rafiq, 31, who said he was driven to suicidal thoughts during his time in Yorkshire by a culture of racism.
Although seven were retained, Yorkshire concluded last October that none of the staff members would face disciplinary action, a decision that caused an uproar among politicians and the wider cricket community.
This led to the massive layoffs of administrative and coaching staff at Headingley, with new chairman Kamlesh Patel taking over as the face of a New Yorkshire regime.
The new governance procedures proposed by Patel were voted on through Yorkshire membership and, as a result, the England and Wales Cricket Board did not go through the danger of stripping Headingley of lucrative international games – a potential financial disaster for Yorkshire.
Nevertheless, last month the ECB accused Yorkshire and several individuals of defaming the game.
But former Yorkshire head coach Andrew Gayle, who won an unfair dismissal claim against the club in June after being sacked last year, has said he would refuse to cooperate with the ECB disciplinary process.
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