Board of Cricket Scotland resign en masse amid racism allegations

The board of Cricket Scotland has dramatically resigned with immediate effect, ahead of a major report into racism due to be published on Monday.

The directors sent the letter of resignation to the interim chief executive officer on Sunday. 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.”

On Friday, Cricket Scotland said it was “truly sorry” to anyone who has been racially abused while playing the sport.

An independent review has been conducted after Scotland’s all-time leading wicket-taker Majid Haq told Sky Sports News that Cricket Scotland was “institutionally racist”, while former team-mate Qasim Sheikh said he had also suffered racist abuse.

Scotland's all-time wicket taker, Majid Haq, has accused Cricket Scotland of institutional racism. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

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The results are expected to be published on Monday, with Aamer Anwar, the lawyer representing the two players, telling Sky the report could prove “devastating” for Cricket Scotland.

A spokesperson for Cricket Scotland said last week: “Cricket should be a welcoming place for everyone and not somewhere that racism or any form of discrimination takes place. The Cricket Scotland Board is truly sorry to everyone who has experienced racism in cricket in Scotland.”

“We would like to sincerely thank everyone who has been involved in contributing to the review, however the Board is not in a position to comment on the independent review’s report as we will not see it until it is published publicly on Monday.”

In the resignation letter on Sunday morning, the board wrote: “We are writing to formally submit our resignations from the Board of Cricket Scotland.

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“When the review into racism in Scottish cricket was announced last year we were fully supportive of the review. The review has achieved an unparalleled level of engagement and we believe it will be truly transformative, not just for Cricket Scotland and the sport of cricket, but it will provide a watershed moment for Scottish sport and society in general. The Board have been totally committed to implementing the findings of this review in full to make the sport of cricket in Scotland a truly welcoming and inclusive place for all. We are all truly sorry and have apologised publicly to everyone who has experienced racism, or any other form of discrimination, in cricket in Scotland.

“The Board has also made important initial steps to improve the governance and leadership of Cricket Scotland since the start of the year. This is, without doubt, the start of another long journey to overhaul and modernise the governance of the sport to ensure its continued success in the years ahead.

“These two programmes of work, one to deliver a thorough, fair and speedy resolution to the issues raised about racism, and the other to overhaul and modernise the governance of the sport are individually huge challenges for a small organisation like Cricket Scotland. We acknowledge the significant support received from sportscotland to date, and we know that they will continue to work in partnership to ensure speedy progress going forward.

“However, while the Board has not been given sight of the review report, it is now aware of the proposed timescales and of certain mandated actions proposed within the report that it believes make the delivery of these two programmes unachievable within the timetable proposed and the current governance framework. Consequently, we believe we must now step aside to enable the required progress to be made in the coming months.

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“We wish everyone in Cricket Scotland every success and hope that the sport of cricket will emerge from this review implementation period into a new, transformed and truly welcoming environment that will enable it to flourish at every level in the years ahead.”

A spokesperson for Sportscotland said: “This has been an exceptionally challenging time for everyone involved in Scottish cricket. 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.”

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