Photo Credit: Cricket Scotland
Cricket Scotland has today announced a ground-breaking partnership with the South Asian Cricket Academy (SACA) to tackle inequalities and increase British South Asian (BSA) representation within the professional game.
Thanks to this new partnership, two separate one-year pilot projects are to be introduced, each designed specifically to provide additional opportunities for BSA players to achieve professional status in both the men’s and women’s pathway in Scottish cricket.
The partnership has been developed by Co-founder & Managing Director of SACA, Tom Brown, Interim Head of Performance at Cricket Scotland, Toby Bailey, and former Scotland international and anti-racism campaigner Qasim Sheikh. It will continue to be developed over the coming months.
Suitable players will be over the age of 16, be eligible to play for Scotland and identify as BSA. Nominations will be taken via video on WhatsApp and or a strong reference from a coach or cricket club. These will be evaluated by SACA coaching staff with trial sessions taking place in November or December.
Successful male participants will be offered bespoke training from January, followed by pre-season performance camps and fixtures from April 2023. The female programme will take place after the U19 World-Cup in January 2023 with the best BSA players being engaged in a joint SACA/Cricket Scotland coaching programme.
If you would like to be considered for the pilot projects, please send a short biography (i.e., name, age, summary of cricketing journey) and video of you training or playing/coaching CV to 07707225009 via WhatsApp. You can also contact the team via https://www.saca-uk.com/contact
Co-founder & Managing Director of SACA, Tom Brown, said: “We’re really excited to be partnering with Cricket Scotland in their mission to make cricket more equitable and inclusive.
“Since being approached by Toby Bailey last month I have been impressed with how quickly this partnership has developed and with how seriously Cricket Scotland is taking this opportunity to provide the South Asian players and coaches in Scotland the chance of becoming professionals within the elite game.
“Hopefully this partnership will be a short-lived one for the right reasons, and that Cricket in Scotland becomes an example on how to build inclusive talent systems.”
Former Scotland international, Qasim Sheikh, said: “SACA has proven its worth south of the border with three graduates receiving first-class contracts and also 16 players trialled at counties as well. I’m delighted to have played a small part in bringing this to Scotland, and I would like to thank Toby and his team at Cricket Scotland for exploring this opportunity with the enthusiasm they have.
“Whilst our game in Scotland makes the changes it needs to be equitable, this is an important short-term intervention to give greater opportunities to the many young talented minority ethnic Scottish cricketers.”
Interim Head of Performance at Cricket Scotland, Toby Bailey, said: “We are delighted that SACA has partnered with Cricket Scotland to help develop and provide opportunities for Scottish South Asian Cricketers. The programme will enable cricketers on the SACA-CS programme to access the SACA programme in England and Wales as well as a winter training programme in Scotland and fixtures in the summer.
“The SACA programme has already provided opportunities for players to play against Counties which has led to players and coaches being signed by Counties, including Scotland international Andrew Umeed.
“SACA-CS is a partnership that will provide Scottish South Asians with more player representation at the international and professional levels. I would like to thank Tom Brown from SACA and Qasim Sheikh for engaging in this partnership which will help Performance Pathway and High-Performance systems at Cricket Scotland.”