A FORMER England international cricketer has said he suffered racist abuse while playing in Scotland because of his nationality.

Graeme Fowler, who appeared in 21 test matches and 26 one-day internationals for England in the 1980s spoke out after the entire board of Cricket Scotland stepped down after an independent review recommended that the governing body was 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”.

Special measures are also being placed on Western District Cricket Union, which has a temporary suspension from managing their own disciplinary matters, and must complete an independent review into its governance by the end of September.

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.

Mr Fowler, now 65, said: "Well, who would have thought that Scottish Cricket was racist, apart from their hatred of the English. Apparently it doesn’t stop there.

"I haven’t suffered much racial abuse. Once, briefly in Jamaica. The rest, many occasions in Scotland."

The batsman, who scored 1,307 Test runs for England between 1982 and 1985 - including the first-ever double century by an Englishman on Indian soil, responded to one Scottish fan on Twitter saying: "It was water off a duck’s back. Too many ridiculously sensitive folks about nowadays "Don’t worry, I gave as good I got. Was fun to me. Yet categorically it was racist."

The review concluded that those who raised issues with Cricket Scotland were ignored or side-lined and a culture of "racially aggravated micro-aggression" was allowed to develop.

An anonymous survey was carried out as part of the review, with 62% of those who responded saying they had experienced, seen or had reported to them incidents of racism, inequalities or discrimination.

A new Cricket Scotland board must be in place by September 2022 and consist of 40% male and 40% female, with at least 25% from an ethnic minority.

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 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.