Cricket Scotland chief ‘determined’ to solve racism issues within sport

The body was placed into special measures earlier this year after a report found 448 instances of institutional racism.

04 October 2022

The interim chief executive of Cricket Scotland has said he is “determined” to solve the issue of racism within the sport in order to make it a “welcoming place for everybody”.

Holyrood’s Health, Social Care and Sport Committee took evidence on racism in cricket from Gordon Arthur, interim chief executive of Cricket Scotland, and Sportscotland CEO Forbes Dunlop on Tuesday.

Cricket Scotland was placed into special measures earlier this year after a report found 448 instances of institutional racism, with the entire board quitting 24 hours before the report was released.

An interim review by Sportscotland released last week found that the body was making progress but that a “genuine cultural change” was needed.

Mr Arthur told the committee that since the publication of the report in July, further referrals have come forward through a support helpline.

“I couldn’t tell you how many, but I believe further referrals have come forward,” he said.

“We’ve been concentrating on the 68 that were passed over (for further investigation) at that point. So I do believe there are more that have come forward since then.”

He went on: “The publication of this report was a very dark day for cricket in Scotland. That report laid bare a picture which is appalling, and you cannot try and justify the scale of this and brush it off as being just a reflection of the things that have gone on in society more generally.

“But we are looking at a societal problem through the through the lens of cricket. We can’t solve it on our own.

“But we are determined that we are going to solve it and make cricket a welcoming place for everybody in the sport, and if there are people out there who still have evidence that they want to give and who who feel they’ve been treated badly in the past, then I would urge them to come forward.

“The more we understand the scale and depth of the problem, the better will be placed to deal with it.”

Mr Dunlop told MSPs that Sportscotland had taken “a number of steps” to try and tackle racism across all sports prior to the publication of the report.

Asked what action the body has taken in a more general approach, he said Sportscotland had worked with the other UK sports councils a few years ago to develop an action plan against racism and inequalities.

Mr Dunlop said: “Now we have the cricket report and our learnings and experiences that that’s highlighted, we immediately met with all other funded sports to talk to them about the report.

“They’ve had a period of time to read, to understand, digest, reflect on that report, and we’re working with them on an individual basis to understand where they are as a sport.”

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