Board of Cricket Scotland resigns after racism allegations

Majid Haq (left) of Scotland walks from the pavillion during an ODI match between Scotland and England at Mannofield, Aberdeen, northeast Scotland on May 9, 2014. Photo: AFP

The entire 14-member board of Cricket Scotland resigned on Sunday following allegations of racism, confirmed the cricket body.

Sharing the news on its Twitter handle, Cricket Scotland said, “The Board of Cricket Scotland has resigned.”

“We will work in partnership with Sport Scotland with immediate effect to ensure appropriate governance, leadership & support is in place for sport in the days ahead,” said the board.

The directors sent the letter of resignation to the interim chief executive officer this morning.

Sky News, in its report, said that the resignations come after the publication revealed yesterday that a “devastating” review into Scottish cricket has found it be institutionally racist.

According to the publication, the review – expected to be published on Monday – has led to multiple referrals to a number of organisations, including Police Scotland, for racist behaviour.

A spokesperson for Cricket Scotland said: “Cricket Scotland will work in partnership with Sportscotland with immediate effect to ensure appropriate governance, leadership and support is in place for the organisation and the sport in the days ahead, and these arrangements will be reviewed after the publication of the report into racism in cricket in Scotland and updates given accordingly.”

In the letter to the interim chief executive Gordan Arthur, the board wrote that “we are all truly sorry” to everyone who has experienced racism in Scotland, and “we believe we must now step aside to enable the required progress to be made in the coming months”.

Aamer Anwar, who is representing two of the complaints, said that his clients welcomed the resignations.

‘Institutionally racist’

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 the publication, last November, Haq 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, which has taken contributions from several hundred people.

Anwar, who represents Haq and Sheikh, 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,” he added.

“Racism exists in Cricket Scotland and my clients know that has been the case for many years, through generations of cricketers.”

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