Cricket Scotland sets up process to investigate complaints from racism review

A total of 68 individual concerns were referred for further investigation following Plan4Sport’s independent review of allegations of racism. Credit: PA Images

Cricket Scotland has reached an "important milestone" as it sets out the next steps for considering complaints referred by a review into racism in the sport, its interim chief executive has said.

The governing body said it has established an independent and robust process to appropriately consider and investigate complaints, which will be led by three independent organisations.

Cricket Scotland was placed into special measures in July after an independent review by consultancy firm Plan4Sport identified 448 instances of institutional racism.

Allegations included racial abuse, use of inappropriate language, favouritism towards white children from public schools and a lack of a transparent selection process.

As a result, Cricket Scotland's entire board stepped down on the eve of the review's publication.

As part of the Plan4Sport review, 68 individual concerns have been referred for further investigation, of which 31 relate to allegations of racism against 15 different people, two clubs and one regional association.

Law firm Harper MacLeod LLP will work alongside UK-wide race equality charity Sporting Equals and, where appropriate, anti-racism campaign group Running Out Racism to collectively ensure that all complaints are reviewed and, if necessary, investigated.

Cricket Scotland’s interim chief executive Gordon Arthur said: "Today’s announcement marks an important milestone in the process of understanding the full circumstances of these referrals, speaking to any individuals who have been mentioned in referrals and any witnesses to events that have been reported.

"Only when we have investigated fully, will we be able to decide what action might be taken in individual circumstances, to bring closure on these issues.

"It may be that a number of referrals can be satisfactorily resolved without the need of in-depth investigations and others may take a longer period of time to resolve.

"There are also a significant number to cover, which means not all will be able to commence at the same time.

"We would therefore ask that the process is respected to enable each investigation to reach conclusion.

"I am aware how difficult a process this has been for everyone involved, but it has been vital to ensure that the next steps are thorough and deliver fair outcomes, so it has been important to take the necessary time to get these steps right."

Scottish cricketer Majid Haq reacts during a press conference after Cricket Scotland was placed into special measures. Credit: PA Images

The review was commissioned last year following allegations from former Scotland internationals Majid Haq and Qasim Sheikh.

Waqqas Ashraf, of Running Out Racism, said: "We are pleased that Cricket Scotland and sportscotland have put thought into a process for dealing with referrals that specifically takes into account the needs of those who have experienced racial discrimination in cricket.

"Key to building trust in future changes first starts with dealing robustly with past issues.

"Some of the issues raised throughout the review have been raised in the past, with no or limited process, or leading to consequences for the complainants themselves.

"It is critical therefore that things are done properly going forward.

"Central to this is ensuring that there are people with experience and understanding of racial inequalities and discrimination supporting any investigation process.

“We will do all we can to support those contributing to the investigations, to help ensure they are treated with compassion and fairness through the process.”

Bruce Caldow, of Harper MacLeod LLP, said the firm looks forward to collaborating with Sporting Equals and engaging with Running Out Racism to “expeditiously build on work undertaken to date”.

Arun Kang, of Sporting Equals, said: "We will work with Cricket Scotland to ensure that the alleged racist incidents are addressed responsibly.

"We will help facilitate a fair, diligent process during the investigations."

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