An ex-Scotland cricketer, who is one of those who lodged complaints in relation to alleged racist behaviour in the sport - has appealed for justice as a row broke out over the way the probe has been conducted.

It comes after questions were raised over whether former Scotland cricket international John Blain was cleared of racism, after he published a letter from Cricket Scotland that appeared to exonerate him.

Now a new letter has surfaced from Cricket Scotland that indicates that there has been no exoneration and that one case was stopped from progressing due to a technicality.

Advocacy group Running Out Racism which has been advising complainants has called into question statements made by the organisation surrounding racism allegations against Mr Blain.

READ MORE: Entire board of Cricket Scotland resigns immediately ahead of damning racism report

Mr Blain is now understood to be taking legal advice over the steps he thinks is necessary to completely clear his name.

John Blain  (Image: Gordon Terris)

Two legal firms, Harper Macleod LLP and Bishop Lloyd Jackson Solicitors, and the race inclusion charity Sporting Equals have been investigating over 50 referrals - individual complaints of alleged racist behaviour - over the last year, stemming from the independent review in July 2022 that found Cricket Scotland to be institutionally racist.

It followed claims - some made by all-time leading wicket-taker Majid Haq - of racism and discrimination.

After two years of investigations, it is not yet clear if any disciplinary proceedings have taken place so far.

Cricket Scotland would only say five cases are "in our disciplinary process".

Now one of the whistleblowers who lodged complaints relating to incidents in 2006 has spoken of his disappointment and the need for action after receiving a letter indicating that an inability to progress his case was "not a statement of exoneration".

The former cricketer, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the Herald that his letter showed it was dropped "through a technicality" and said justice had not been served.

He added: "I am really disappointed that they seem to think it is unfounded and are not taking this further.

"It is just bizarre that the chief executive had [previously] dismissed the complaint.

"This has dragged on for too long. All that is wanted is justice at the end of the day. I am just so disappointed with what is going on."

The whistleblower was told by Trudy Lindblade, chief executive of Cricket Scotland that she was unable to progress his referral against Mr Blain through its conduct in sport process partly because the "historic nature" of the allegations provided an "inherent difficulty in bringing disciplinary proceedings.

Trudy Lindblade

She said one trip referred to in the former cricketer's complaint was an ICC [International Cricket Council] trip and there was a challenge that the Cricket Scotland code of conduct did not immediately extend to Mr Blain.

"Without a copy of the rules applicable at the time of the incident, it is difficult to bring charges against them," she said.

She also said that the case could not be progressed because evidence existed that the incident had been reported to Cricket Scotland at the time.

"We are keen to stress that none of the above seeks to undermine the belief that you had regarding the way that you were treated, but sets out the reasons why we will not be bringing disciplinary proceedings against John Blain," she said.

"The Cricket Scotland Board has approved mediation using restorative justice as the basis for this mediation as the next step. This mediation will be with Cricket Scotland in the first instance."

Ms Lindblade said that there were general principles for Cricket Scotland to be able to properly take disciplinary action against anyone, whether as part of the referral process or otherwise.

They were that there had to be "sufficient evidence of a breach of the rules".

They also had to be clear what the rule that was breached was and that it was in place at the time and have the jurisdictional remit or authority to be able to take formal action and proceed to put the matter before a committee for a further hearing.

"Where the above do not exist, Cricket Scotland is unable to progress and take formal action.

"This procedural inability to progress these matters to a Conduct in Sport Panel is not a statement of exoneration.

"None of these outcomes take away from the feelings that you have as a result of the incidents you reported, but they do impact on Cricket Scotland's inability to take formal action."

She also acknowledged that it had been a "long and difficult process" and added: "It is regrettable that it has taken as long as it has, and I am sorry for that and thank you for the time you have given to the investigation."

She said that he would received an email from PBW Law inviting him to mediation.

"I ask that you please consider taking part as this is one of many important steps we will be taking over the coming weeks, months and years to unite our communities through cricket, and to make Scottish cricket better every day," she said.

Majid Haq during a press conference in July, 2022 following publication of the independent review

The Running Out of Racism group said the response to the cricket was "contradictory" and "demonstrates that the allegations wre not unfounded but not investigated due to them not having rules or jurisdiction at the time".

They said that they were seeking clarification on how it took so long to arrive at this conclusion, and why the governing body didn't have the most basic rules in place to govern on serious issues of conduct.

It is therefore "critical" that Cricket Scotland now clarify which of the two accounts they have sent is true for the sake of all involved, they said.

Mr Blain, one of Scotland's all-time leading wicket takers, said the investigation's findings "fully exonerate me" and made public a letter from Cricket Scotland's interim chief executive Pete Fitzboydon from January, informing him that the allegations against him were "unfounded" but requesting that he kept that information confidential to allow time for the complainers to be informed of the outcomes.

Cricket Scotland's subsequent "delay and prevarication" in going public, Mr Blain said, forced him to release his statement, five months after receiving the letter.

But the investigating team subsequently has said its role had been to "make findings of fact" and not to pronounce guilt or innocence.

As a consequence, it was stated that they had neither "exonerated" any individual in any of their reports, nor reported "in any way to the Board of Cricket Scotland to suggest that an individual was "exonerated" or equivalent".

Instead, the investigating team insisted its role was to identify "learning lessons", of which, it said, there had been over 250 across 51 referrals so far. Cricket Scotland has been making some of these learnings public on its website, as and when batches of referrals have concluded over the last year.

The investigators, had to date engaged with over 170 people and witnesses so far, acknowledged the difficulties in looking into these complaints, some of which were from nearly two decades ago.

The nature of allegations of discrimination - "having to consider competing accounts" - made it "universally a complex task".

Majid Haq represented Scotland on more than 200 occasions but did not play again after being sent home from the 2015 World Cup.

At the time he hinted he felt victimised on grounds of race.

His former Scotland teammate Qasim Sheikh also spoke openly about being racially abused.

In July 2022, a report commissioned by funding body sportscotland found that there was evidence of institutional racism in Scottish cricket.

The Changing the Boundaries review highlighted 448 examples.

(Image: PA)

Cricket Scotland's entire board resigned a day ahead of the report's publication.

Following a separate investigation by the English cricket's ruling body the ECB in March 2023, John Blain was one of six players found guilty of racism at Yorkshire County Cricket Club.

It followed accusations made by former England international Azeem Rafiq.

Blain, Gary Ballance, Tim Bresnan, Matthew Hoggard, Andrew Gale and Richard Pyrah were all found to have used racist slurs.

They were fined sums of between £2,500 sand £6,000.

Mr Blain said the fact that the Scottish investigation "completely exonerated me fatally undermines the ECB process and must force them to reconsider their unjust verdict and clear my name".

The ECB said the Cricket Discipline Commission had upheld the charge against John Blain for using racist language at Yorkshire in or around 2010 and 2011 after considering all the evidence before it.

Mr Blain said that the latest development was a "craven, disingenuous and despicable attempt by Cricket Scotland to rewrite history a week after I was forced to go public to clear my name".

He said that Ms Lindblade reiterated on a call that the claims against him were unfounded.

“This latest Cricket Scotland letter is a desperate attempt to re-invent history and to row back from an unequivocal exoneration. Unbelievably, Cricket Scotland’s preposterous position now appears to be that they in fact lied to me out of consideration for my welfare," he said.

“That simply does not stand scrutiny when you consider that they removed me publicly from the Hall of Fame, my name was publicly dragged through the mud for years with no intervention or help from them and they prevaricated for five months after writing the letter which exonerated me.

“I will now confer with my lawyers and take all steps necessary to protect my reputation in light of this extraordinary and unsustainable about-turn.”

Cricket Scotland has said of the referral cases 13 were examined for review, and five cases were "progressed to Cricket Scotland's disciplinary procedures".

"In the interests of clarity, Mr Blain’s cases were not progressed further due to a combination of insufficient evidence, a lack of an applicable rule at the time of the complaint, and/or a lack of jurisdictional remit or authority to take formal action.

"We have set out our position to Mr Blain and his representatives and are engaging with them directly regarding his media comments.

(Image: John Blain)

"For two years, the governing body has worked in cooperation with all parties involved to review and implement the necessary governance improvements.

"We have made significant changes to our leadership and board structures to address the recommendations: a commitment to creating a safer, more inclusive, welcoming and prosperous future for our sport.

"This work is ongoing and will require the collective support of sportscotland and multiple partners to maintain the progress made."