Racism in Scottish cricket to be subject of independent review as Cricket Scotland go under the microscope
A full independent review into racism within Scottish cricket is to be conducted by Scotland's national agency for sport in the wake of allegations made by former international players.
The move from sportscotland follows recent comments from Majid Haq where Scotland's all-time leading wicket taker accused Cricket Scotland of being "institutionally racist" and treating him "like a criminal" based on the colour of his skin after he was dropped from the national team for airing his views on social media.
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, alongside former Scotland team-mate Qasim Sheikh, led calls for an independent inquiry with sportscotland now confirming it is "taking immediate steps to appoint a team of independent experts to carry out a full a review of racism within Scottish cricket" following discussions with Cricket Scotland.
The statement added: "Existing Cricket Scotland policies and procedures will also be reviewed in line with equality, diversity and inclusion best practice, to ensure that lessons are learned, and that action is taken to address the issues facing the sport.
"Given the understandable concern within the cricket community and further afield, sportscotland is also today committing to publishing the full scope of the independent review within the next seven days.
"On completion of the review process, a report and action plan will be published by the independent experts, with sportscotland responsible for holding Cricket Scotland and its associations to account, to ensure that real change is delivered on the recommendations."
Chief Executive of sportscotland, Stewart Harris, said: “There can be no place for racism or discrimination of any kind in sport and it is vital that all complaints of this nature are robustly investigated. That must always be the starting point when we are talking about racism and racial inequalities.
“It is clear that steps must be taken to address the problem of racism within cricket in Scotland. We must listen to the very real concerns that have and will continue to be raised as part of this wholly independent process. But more than that, we must also act on these and start to rebuild trust.
“This will not be easy and it will take time. However, as the national agency for sport we will do what is required to effect positive change wherever it is needed in Scottish cricket.”
Cricket Scotland has welcomed the move and vowed to support sportscotland in its investigation and act on any recommendations after recently launching its own Equality Action Plan.
President of Cricket Scotland, Sue Strachan, said: “We have reached out to sportscotland for their help and support to investigate any evidence of racism in cricket in Scotland. We are grateful to sportscotland for commissioning this wide-ranging independent review of racism within the sport that we love.
“The Boards of Cricket Scotland, in association with the regional Associations and the Scottish Cricketers Association and the Cricket Scotland Match Officials Association, will engage fully with the independent review and have committed to acting upon any recommendations made as a result of its findings. We want to ensure that going forward there is no place for racism within cricket in Scotland.”
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