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Review into racism in Scottish cricket 'engaged with over 200 people'

Plan4Sport confirmed that hundreds of people have already shared their experiences of racism, inequalities and discrimination in the sport.

Over 200 people share experiences with racism in Scottish cricket review iStock

An organisation leading the independent review into racism in Scottish cricket has hailed the “bravery and courage” of more than 200 people who have shared their experiences of the issue.

Plan4Sport confirmed that hundreds of people have already shared their experiences of racism, inequalities and discrimination in the sport.

The information was provided as part of an update on the review’s progress that was released on Thursday.

Appointed by sportscotland last year, Plan4Sport, is due to deliver its findings and recommendations from the review at the end of July 2022.

Managing director Louise Tideswell, said: “I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to engage with the independent review into racism within Scottish cricket. We know that coming forward and sharing experiences can be incredibly difficult, so we are very grateful to those who have done so.

“Our team has now listened to, and engaged with, hundreds of people, and where appropriate, action has already been taken. That has included referrals to Children First, Police Scotland as well as HR and legal experts, to ensure that people’s disclosures are investigated fully and that appropriate action is taken immediately, where needed, rather than waiting to report racism at the end of the review.

“Plan4Sport will continue to report incidents of racism until the review has concluded in late July 2022. We want to be clear that the role of Plan4Sport is to carry out this review into the allegations of racism within cricket in Scotland. We are continuing our work in this area, and it remains our most pressing priority.

“However, it is also our role to signpost to specialists where it is applicable. Having talked with so many people, the review has surfaced other issues including misogyny, leadership, and governance concerns. These issues will be reported separately at a later date and do not detract in any way from the focus of the review specifically into racism.”

The creation of a confidential space for individuals to disclose their personal experiences has been credited as a “driving force” behind so many people coming forward over the last four months.

An anonymous survey was announced last year as part of a wide-ranging review that was launched after former Scotland players Majid Haq and Qasim Sheikh alleged that Cricket Scotland, the governing body overseeing the sport, was “institutionally racist”.

And earlier this month Cricket Scotland admitted it “must do better” as it launched a search for a new chief executive.

The organisation stated it would welcome applications from people of “all backgrounds and communities” to help ensure that it “best represents those who are passionate about the game”.

On Thursday it welcomed the update to the review and says “immediate steps” will be taken.

Interim chair of Cricket Scotland, Sue Strachan, said: “We welcome this update and are keen to see the initial recommendations to allow us to take action and some immediate steps.

“Re-building trust is a key priority for us and we have begun to reach out to those who have been directly affected by racism in the sport. We accept that we have a lot of work to do and we want to move forward.

“We have already started to implement a programme of EDI education for our staff, board and council members. We have also been working with sportscotland and Plan4Sport to ensure we reach a wider, more diverse audience in our search for our new CEO.

“The racism review will continue to be the top priority and focus of our Interim CEO.”

Chief executive of sportscotland, Stewart Harris, said: “We understand that sharing experiences can be difficult and even traumatic. It takes courage and bravery and I want to personally thank each and every person who has taken the step of coming forward and engaging with the review.

“The review is ongoing and there is still an opportunity to contribute. It is vital that the review team hear from those who have experienced or witnessed racism, inequalities or discrimination within cricket, so if you haven’t come forward, then please do so. You will be treated with respect and compassion.”