Glasgow: The entire board of Cricket Scotland on Sunday resigned with immediate effect ahead of the release of a racism report in the sport.
The board sent the letter of resignation to the Interim Chief Executive Officer Gordan Arthur on Sunday morning ahead of the report to be published on Monday, coming after multiple allegations of racism and discrimination by players Majid Haq and Qasim Sheikh were made last year.
“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,” said the Board in a statement.
In November last year, Haq, Scotland’s all-time leading wicket-taker, told Sky Sports News that Cricket Scotland was “institutionally racist”, while former team-mate Qasim Sheikh claimed he had also suffered racist abuse. Aamer Anwar, their lawyer, said to Sky the report could prove “devastating” for Cricket Scotland.
“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 time scales 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. 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,” concluded the Board’s statement.
A spokesperson for Cricket Scotland reacted to the board’s en masse resignation by saying, “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. These arrangements will be reviewed after the publication of the report into racism in cricket in Scotland and updates given accordingly.”