Cricket Scotland’s board has resigned a day before the publication of an independent report into allegations of institutional racism within the sport and the governing body.
Board members say they stepped down to allow for the creation of new governance structures and the implementation of the report’s recommendations.
Consultancy Plan4Sport was appointed by sportscotland, the national sports agency, to start carrying out the review in December last year after former Scottish players Majid Haq and Qasim Sheikh claimed the governing body was “institutionally racist”.
In a letter to recently appointed interim chief executive Gordon Arthur, board members said they were fully committed to implementing the findings of the review and had taken “important initial steps. ” to improve the leadership and governance of sport.
The letter added: “These two programs of work, one to bring about a thorough, fair and rapid resolution to the problems raised by racism, and the other to overhaul and modernize the governance of sport are individually enormous challenges for a small organization like Cricket Scotland.
“We acknowledge the significant support received from sportscotland to date, and know that they will continue to work in partnership to ensure rapid progress in the future.
“However, although the board was unaware of the review report, it is now aware of the proposed timelines and certain mandatory actions proposed in the report which it believes make the delivery of these two programs impractical in the proposed timelines and the current governance framework.
“Therefore, we believe we must now step aside to allow for the progress required in the months ahead.”
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Board members, who said they were ‘truly sorry’ for anyone who had experienced racism or other forms of discrimination in Scottish cricket, said the ‘transformative’ review would be a “watershed moment for Scottish sport and society at large”.
“We wish everyone at Cricket Scotland every success and hope that the sport of cricket will emerge from this period of implementation of the review into a transformed and truly welcoming new environment which will allow it to flourish at all levels in the years to come. to come,” they added.
Current Cricket Scotland board members listed on the Companies House website are Sue Strachan, who was appointed interim chairman in April, along with Sheelagh Duffield, Jonathan Kemp, Douglas Lockhart and Colin Mitchell.
Phil Yelland was named chairman in April. Gordon McKinnie stepped down earlier this month while Angela Casey, former chairman Tony Brian and former chief executive Gus Mackay left the board earlier this year.
A spokesman for sportscotland, whose head of sports development John Lunn served as interim chief executive of Cricket Scotland for several months this year, said: “It has been an exceptionally difficult time for all people. involved in Scottish cricket.
“We have been advised of the board’s decision and as the national sporting agency we will take immediate action to provide significant additional governance and leadership support to Cricket Scotland.”
An interim report released in April said the review prompted police action. Referrals were made to Children First, Police Scotland as well as human resources and legal experts to ensure allegations of racism were fully investigated. Other issues, including “issues of misogyny, leadership and governance,” also surfaced.
Staff and consultants working on the review spoke to over 200 people, including international actors, and several hundred more took part in an anonymous online survey.
Solicitor Aamer Anwar said: ‘We expect the report to deliver a devastating indictment of an institutionally racist Cricket Scotland and full vindication of the allegations of my clients Majid Haq and Qasim Sheikh, as well as the many victims who chose to come forward.
“Since the opening of the investigation, Majid Haq and Qasim Sheikh have been at the heart of exposing institutional racism in this investigation.”
Anwar later added on Twitter that his clients had welcomed the mass resignations after the board was accused of being “dysfunctional, institutionally racist and presiding over a culture of humiliation and intimidation”.