Majid Haq calls for investigation into alleged institutional racism at Cricket Scotland
Scotland's all-time leading wicket taker has called for an investigation into Cricket Scotland after accusing the organisation of being "institutionally racist".
Majid Haq said he was "treated like a criminal" as he detailed how his international career was brought to an abrupt halt by the governing body after posting a race-related tweet during the 2015 World Cup.
Haq, who was born in Paisley, made 209 appearances for Scotland over a 13-year period but was suspended and never picked again after posting a comment which read: "Always tougher when you're in the minority! #colour #race".
He has now called for an independent inquiry into Cricket Scotland alongside former team-mate Qasim Sheikh as the pair opened up on the alleged racism suffered during their careers during an interview with Sky Sports News.
"I was treated like a criminal," Haq said. "In 2015 I put out a tweet saying it's tougher in the minority. I was on the next flight home, that shows how tough it can be. I felt isolated and I felt I was right, but I was told by the organisation to delete the tweet and apologise. I never did, why should I apologise for something I believe in?
"Over the last six years, that's made me believe in things even more. There needs to be some anonymity for those who are brave enough to speak up.
"I never played again, and that is something I used to love doing. I am still the leading wicket-taker of all time for Scotland.
"Three months later, a white player complained about being left out of a squad and they did a massive U-turn within a day. There were different rules for him and different rules for me.
"A lot of people have asked me if I think Cricket Scotland are institutionally racist - I think they are. An investigation would show that they are.
"There are a lot of failings in the processes and the opportunities Asian cricketers are getting compared to a white player."
Sheikh also believes his Scotland career was brought to an end for speaking out after suffering alleged racist abuse.
"Why not conduct an investigation?" he said. "I've had so many messages from people suggesting they've faced racism. Let's have an investigation and let's find out the truth."
Lawyer Aamer Anwar, who has been supporting both players, added: "I think Cricket Scotland are in denial and individuals involved with cricketing in Scotland are still in the dark ages.
"Cricket in Scotland has not faced up to the fact it is institutionally racist, and they are not diverse as a body and they have failed to tackle it."
Cricket Scotland has vowed to investigate and deal with any allegations of racism and hopes a recently launched an Equality Action Plan will help create positive change.
"Cricket Scotland operates a zero-tolerance policy to all forms of racism and discrimination and condemns racism in all its forms," a statement read.
"We won't discuss individual cases at this stage, but we would re-iterate that any allegations of racism or other forms of harassment - whether recent or historic incidents - that come out of that consultation, or that are reported separately to Cricket Scotland, will be thoroughly and properly investigated and dealt with. We would encourage everyone to engage with those processes."
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