Cricket Scotland board quits ahead of racism report

The entire board of Cricket Scotland resigned on Sunday with immediate effect, a day before an independent investigation into racism in the sport in Scotland is published.

The board resigned in a letter to interim CEO Gordon Arthur.

The investigation was commissioned after allegations were made by Majid Haq, one of Scotland’s all-time leading wicket-takers, who alleged Cricket Scotland was “institutionally racist.”

Haq’s former team mate Qasim Sheikh also spoke out, with both players saying they were treated differently due to the colour of their skin.

Aamer Anwar, the lawyer representing Haq and Sheikh, said a “devastating investigation into institutional racism” would be published on Monday.

“This morning the board of Cricket Scotland has resigned, that’s a start but what about the role of selectors, senior coaches, umpires and boards of local leagues? Time for real change,” he said.

“The Board of Cricket Scotland has resigned with immediate effect,” said Cricket Scotland.

“The Directors sent the letter of resignation to the Interim Chief Executive Officer this morning.

“The text of the letter can be read below.

“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.”

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.”

Full text of the letter:

Dear Gordon

We are writing to formally submit our resignations from the Board of Cricket Scotland.

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.

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.

Yours sincerely,

Cricket Scotland Board

About the Author

Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.