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Cricket Scotland’s Board Resigns Before Review of Racism
By: Yifei Mei
On Sunday morning, the directors of the Cricket Scotland’s board resigned with immediate effect. A review of racism in the sport was about to be published the next day.
"We are all truly sorry and have apologized publicly to everyone who has experienced racism, or any other form of discrimination, in cricket in Scotland," the board said.
Some allegations, of racism and discrimination, were made by Scotland’s all-time leading wicket-takers, Majid Haq. Haq’s former teammate, Qasim Sheikh also spoke out about abuse he had felt. Both players were treated differently because of their skin color.
Aamer Anwar is the lawyer representing Haq and Sheikh. He told BBC Radio Scotland’s The Sunday Show that board resignation was “vindication” for his clients.
Haq represented Scotland on over 200 occasions, but he didn’t play again after being sent home from the 2015 World Cup. At the time, he felt victimized on grounds of race. Sheikh didn’t play again either after raising concerns about racism.
"Many who have followed in their footsteps have complained about a culture of systemic bullying, of racism, of humiliation and there has never been any accountability and transparency," Sheikh said.
Anwar said, the resignation of the board was a “good start” and it’d have been impossible for Cricket Scotland to continue as it is. "It's a welcome step, but it's just the start," he added.
"What about the selectors, what about some of the umpires, what about the boards on local leagues because it would appear that if you are a person of color then you face systemic racism."
During the review carried out by equality and diversity specialist Plan4Sport, several allegations and referrals were shown to the police in Scotland.
During an interim report released in April, it revealed that over 200 people had come forth to give evidence.
In a statement, after the board’s resignation, the governing body said, "Cricket Scotland will work in partnership with SportScotland with immediate effect to ensure appropriate governance, leadership and support is in place for the organization and the sport in the days ahead.”
A spokesperson for SportScotland (national agency of sport in Scotland) said, "We have been made aware of the board's decision and as the national agency for sport, we will take immediate steps to provide significant additional governance and leadership support to Cricket Scotland."