Cricket Scotland branded ‘unfit for purpose’ and ‘arrogant’ following latest update on tackling racism | Cricket News
Cricket Scotland says significant progress has been made since the report exposed institutional racism; Running Out Racism claims comments are “baseless nonsense”; Chairman Gordon Arthur resigns; Cricket Scotland will remain in special measures until all recommendations are met, SportScotland says
22:19, UK, Tuesday 21 March 2023
Cricket Scotland has been branded ‘inadequate’, ‘deaf’ and ‘arrogant’ following its latest update on anti-racism policies.
Last July, Sky Sports News unveiled a damning review that found the governing body had failed almost every test of institutional racism.
The entire board of Cricket Scotland resigned ahead of the publication of an independent review, with Gordon Arthur appointed interim CEO.
Arthur is now stepping down from the role next month for personal reasons.
‘EDI Claims are baseless nonsense
As part of Tuesday’s update, a statement from new leader Anjan Luthra outlined the significant progress made in Cricket Scotland’s approach to equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI), and he cited a new diversity working group as another step in the right direction Direction.
However, anti-racism group Running Out Racism – which helped with the investigation last year – has called these claims “baseless nonsense”.
In addition, the group say that Cricket Scotland’s statement has “significantly tipped back confidence” and “showed the governing body’s failure to learn from past mistakes”.
Running Out Racism also revealed that it has tried to air concerns in private but is “sick of fighting for public change without results”.
The statement read: “Today’s release from Cricket Scotland has given a significant blow to confidence and showed the governing body fails to learn from past mistakes.
“To address the issues in sport, you need to engage with people in a meaningful way. Not just with Running Out Racism, but with the wider cricket community.
“Today’s release contradicts that. She is deaf and arrogant.
“To say that they have improved significantly [their] Approach to EDI is baseless nonsense. Unless this major upgrade relates to ticking boxes as opposed to the previous strategy of ignoring the issue. They continue to ignore the very people who have been ignored for so long.
“To be honest, it’s embarrassing to cite the EDI working group as an achievement who have expertise in this area.
“The governing body then issued a positive update, which was surprising to some who attended the same meeting, and subsequently ignored the group. None of today’s changes made it to this group for consultation. A group that took five months to form and has only met once.”
‘Cricket Scotland is not fit for purpose’
The problems of institutional racism came to light after an interview Sky sports news with Scot Majid Haq and teammate Qasim Sheikh
Both players’ lawyer, Aamer Anwar, said: “Despite the horrific exposure of institutional racism, Cricket Scotland’s empty soundbites today show it remains unfit for its purpose.
“Both Majid Haq and Qasim Sheikh are saddened by the resignation of Chief Executive Gordon Arthur, he was a man who really fought for change.
“My clients, both Majid and Qasim, believe that the Chairman has failed to create or inspire genuine trust across the sport and view the process as little more than an ‘arrogant exercise in ticking cosmetic boxes’.
“It is time Sport Scotland intervened with special measures. The only winners today are institutional racism and the dinosaurs, which now seem even more entrenched.”
Are special measures lifted?
In July it was revealed that the Changing The Boundaries report identified 448 instances of institutional racism and discrimination within the game – leading to Cricket Scotland being implicated in special measures by funding body SportScotland.
However, as part of the six-month update, Cricket Scotland chairman Luthra expects the progress made will result in these measures being lifted.
Luthra said: “Our current trajectory means we will complete the special measures by October 31 and ensure that Cricket Scotland continues on its work to become the most inclusive sport in the country in the long term.”
However, the Scottish National Agency for Sport responded by clarifying that only they will make that decision.
A SportScotland spokesman said: “We are looking into the various points that have been raised in Cricket Scotland’s latest update.
“We welcome the progress made so far, but we recognize that only real and meaningful advice can bring about cultural change in sport.
“The final decision on whether Cricket Scotland exits the special measures will be taken by SportScotland and will depend on full compliance with all recommendations in the Changing The Boundaries report.”