SCOTLAND'S national cricket team has come under fire for "failing to provide any support" for those who sparked an independent review that found institutional racism within the sport's governing body.

The lawyer representing the two players whose testimony helped expose the Cricket Scotland racism 'scandal' said it was a "disgrace" that there has been no support or solidarity for the men from the national side players.

An independent review has recommended that Cricket Scotland is placed in special measures by sportscotland after 448 examples of institutional racism were revealed.

Cricket Scotland failed in 29 out of 31 indicators of institutional racism following an investigation by consultancy firm Plan4Sport. The governing body only partially passed the other two tests.

The findings of the Changing the Boundaries report have been described as a “wake-up call for Scottish sport”.

The review was prompted by allegations from former Scotland players Majid Haq and Qasim Sheikh in November and staff spoke to hundreds of people.

Both Mr Haq and Mr Sheikh reported historic incidents of racism and discrimination which they believe led to the premature end of their international careers.

From the conversations with the review, 68 individual concerns have been referred for further investigation, including 31 allegations of racism against 15 people, two clubs and one regional association.

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

In some cases, multiple concerns have been raised against the same individual.

Aamer Anwar, who is representing Mr Haq and Mr Sheikh was fiercely critical of the national cricket side.


He told the Herald: "Where is the support and solidarity? Why has there been not one iota or one word?

"What is the point of taking the knee in November 2021 during the T20 World Cup, and one day internationals and yet when there has been such a damning indictment, nobody from the Scotland squad can bring themselves to say anything in support of those who came forward. In the end it was their colleagues that came forward."

Taking the knee has spread across the sporting world as a symbolic gesture against racism whereby an individual kneels at the start of a match. It was originated by American football player Colin Kaepernick on September 1, 2016, in protest against the lack of attention given to the issues of racial inequality and police brutality in the United States. Mr Kaepernick's protest led to a wider series of national anthem protests.

Mr Anwar added: "It smacks of hypocrisy. The fact they took to the knee smacks of virtue signalling. What do they think they were doing?

"I supposed the reason they are uncomfortable is that some of them will know that it is because of their white privilege that they are in positions that they never should have been.

"The corrosive impact of institutional racism has slowly and subtly stripped away self worth. It drained these individuals. It shattered their dreams. Do they not think they deserve solidarity."

Mr Haq, 39, born in Paisley and is Pakistani descent, represented Scotland on more than 200 occasions but did not play again after being sent home from the 2015 World Cup afer posting a race-related tweet. At the time, he hinted he felt victimised on grounds of race.

Mr Haq said last year: "A lot of people have asked me if I think Cricket Scotland are institutionally racist - I think they are. An investigation would show that they are."


Mr Sheikh, 38, who was born in Glasgow, believes his national team team career was brought to an end for speaking out about the treatment he suffered when playing for Scotland. Mr Sheikh who has played from the age of 12 for Scotland also revealed he has since been targeted for opening up about his experiences of racism.

Mr Anwar said: "It is pretty shocking and damning and says a great deal that the one moment that every newspaper, every TV station had it [the report findings] as the first item on the news, the most devastating verdict ever delivered on a sporting body on the issue of racism anywhere in the UK in the history of this country, that the one group of people that choose not to stand up and be counted and set an example, is the Scotland cricket team. What a disgrace, what a shambles, what an example to set to our young people about the way going forward, that they can't even drag themselves out to give messages of solidarity. For me it smacks of institutional racism, it smacks of a pandemic of racism in the sport that these people cannot drag out a couple of lines of support in solidarity. Why can it be so difficult to say we think it is wrong that young children are turned away from clubs because of the colour of their skin. We think it is wrong for anyone to discriminate against a player because of the colour of his skin.

"Is it too much to do that? The silence speaks volumes. Everyone else is talking about it. "

He said that the actions of the leadership of Cricket Scotland meant that the nation had been denied the best possible representative team on the pitch.

"The dinosaurs, because of their deep rooted racism have denied Scotland a quality team that could have won match after match. Why? Because they decided based on their colour who they were going to select and denied others because they were Asian," he said.

An interim report in April revealed that some incidents had been referred to police and it has now emerged that one individual has appeared in court as a result.

Most (62 per cent) of the respondents to a survey had experienced, seen or received reports of racism or other forms of discrimination.

The review also found a lack of any diversity or anti-racist training; no consistent process for handling racist incidents, with people who did raise issues “sidelined or ignored,” a lack of diversity from board level to the coaching workforce and within the talent pathway, and a lack of transparency in the selection process.

The report authors made three key recommendations including that Cricket Scotland, whose entire board stepped down on Sunday, is taken under special measures by the national agency for sport until at least October 2023.


An immediate recruitment of board members should ensure there is no more than a 60-40 gender ratio either way and a minimum of 25 per cent of members should come from black, south-east Asian, or other mixed or multiple ethnic groups.

Another key recommendation is that one of Scotland’s five regional associations, the Western District Cricket Union, is placed in special measures by Cricket Scotland and is immediately suspended from managing all disciplinary measures relating to its competitions. An urgent review should be held into its governance.

Cricket Scotland has also been encouraged to address the backlog in referrals with any resulting investigations to be undertaken by a third party with suitable expertise.

Mr Haq spoke out about suffering abuse in his career after former Yorkshire player Azeem Rafiq told MPs that English cricket was "institutionally" racist.

His testimony led to changes in Yorkshire's leadership, with the county's cricket ground Headingley being temporarily stripped of hosting international matches, and the England and Wales Cricket Board putting together a 12-point plan to tackle racism in the game.

Cricket Scotland was approached for comment.