Scotland cricket board resigns over racism report
Stay tuned with 24 News HD Android App
The board of the Scottish cricket federation resigned en masse on Sunday following accusations of institutional racism in a damning independent review which is due to be published on Monday.
"The Board of Cricket Scotland has resigned. We will work in partnership with @sportscotland with immediate effect to ensure appropriate governance, leadership & support is in place for sport in the days ahead," Cricket Scotland tweeted on Sunday.
The review was commissioned last year by Sport Scotland, the national funding body, after Scotland's all-time leading wicket-taker Majid Haq told Sky Sports News that Cricket Scotland was "institutionally racist".
Haq's former team-mate Qasim Sheikh said he had also suffered racist abuse.
In its resignation letter to the interim chief executive, the Cricket Scotland board said it was "truly sorry" and apologised to "everyone who has experienced racism, or any other form of discrimination" while playing the game in Scotland.
"The review has achieved an unparallelled 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 statement added the current board had not seen the contents of the report. However, it added the board had been made aware of "proposed timescales and certain mandated actions" recommended by the review.
- 'Unachievable' -
In the view of the outgoing board, plans to both resolve the racism issues quickly and modernise the running of Cricket Scotland were "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," the statement added.
The issue of racism within British cricket as a whole was brought to the fore again two years ago when former spinner Azeem Rafiq said he had been subjected to racial harassment and bullying during his time as a player for leading English county Yorkshire.
That prompted the Headingley-based club to commission an investigation into allegations by the 31-year-old Rafiq, who said he was driven to thoughts of suicide by the culture of racism during his time at Yorkshire.
Athough seven were upheld, Yorkshire concluded last October that no member of staff would face disciplinary action, a decision that prompted uproar among politicians and the wider cricket community.
That led to a mass clear-out of administrative and coaching staff at Headingley, with new chairman Kamlesh Patel taking over as the face of a fresh Yorkshire regime.
New governance procedures proposed by Patel were voted through by the Yorkshire membership and, as a result, the England and Wales Cricket Board did not go through with a threat to strip Headingley of lucrative international games -- a potential financial disaster for Yorkshire.
Nevertheless, last month the ECB charged Yorkshire and a number of individuals with bringing the sport into disrepute.
But former Yorkshire head coach Andrew Gale, who in June won an unfair dismissal claim against the club after being sacked last year, has said he will refuse to co-operate with the ECB disciplinary process.