Thursday, January 26, 2023

Cricket Scotland: Independent review into racism in Scottish Cricket – Next steps

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Cricket Scotland has today announced that it has established an independent and robust process to appropriately consider and investigate complaints referred for further consideration by the recent Plan4Sport independent review into racism in the sport. 

The process will be led by three independent organisations as part of Cricket Scotland’s commitment to openness and transparency. It is part of a wider commitment to ensure that Scottish cricket becomes actively anti-racist, more diverse and inclusive.

Scotland’s leading sports 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, investigate as part of this process. This work is already underway and will take some months.

Interim CEO of Cricket Scotland, 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.”

Bruce Caldow of Harper MacLeod LLP said: “We are pleased to be assisting Cricket Scotland with this important piece of work. We look 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: “Sporting Equals is pleased to act as an independent organisation in this process with Cricket Scotland. Recently in collaboration with our partners, Bishop Lloyd Jackson LLP, we launched the Race Discrimination Support Service, the first of its kind, a pro-bono programme to address racism in the sports sector.

“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.”

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 things 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.”

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. In some instances, multiple referrals have been raised against individuals. Some of these alleged incidents are recent while others are not. 

In relation to this process, a ‘referral’ is a complaint or experience which was brought to the attention of Plan4Sport, deemed necessary of further investigation. Further steps will be taken on all referrals and this may include investigations and interviews with witnesses.

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