Majid Haq and Qasim Sheikh say that Cricket Scotland treated them differently because of the color of their skin; Cricket Scotland says it will thoroughly investigate any allegations of racism or harassment, and has launched an Equality Action Plan that it hopes will bring about positive change.
Spinner Majid Haq took 60 one-day international wickets for Scotland after making 209 appearances
Majid Haq, Scotland’s all-time leading land grabber, claims Cricket Scotland is “institutionally racist” after he and former teammate Qasim Sheikh opened up about the abuse they suffered during their careers.
The couple have alleged that they were treated differently from their teammates due to the color of their skin and are calling for an independent investigation into the organization.
Cricket has been embroiled in a racism scandal initially sparked by allegations made by Azeem Rafiq, who spoke about his experiences of racism at the former Yorkshire club.
Rafiq told a select committee in parliament that English cricket is “institutionally” racist.
Haq represented Scotland over a 13-year period, with 209 appearances, but did not return to play after posting a career-related tweet during the 2015 World Cup.
The 38-year-old tweeted “Always tougher when you’re in the minority! #Color #race” after he was not selected for a match against Sri Lanka. Haq was expelled from the tournament after the incident and did not play for Scotland again.
“They treated me like a criminal,” Haq said.
“In 2015 I posted a tweet saying that it is more difficult in the minority. I was on the next flight home, that shows how difficult it can be. I felt isolated and felt I was right, but the organization told me to delete the tweet and I never did, why should I apologize for something I believe in?
“In the last six years, that made me believe things even more. There must be some anonymity for those who are brave enough to speak up.
“I never played again, and that’s something I loved to do. I continue to be Scotland’s all-time leading wielder.
“Three months later, a white player complained that he had been left out of a team and they made a massive U-turn in one day. There were different rules for him and different rules for me.
“A lot of people have asked me if I think Cricket Scotland is institutionally racist, I think they are. An investigation would show that they are.
“There are a lot of flaws in the processes and the opportunities that Asian cricketers are getting compared to a white player.”
Cricket Scotland has counted Sky Sports News will thoroughly investigate and address any allegations of racism or harassment, but will not analyze individual cases.
The organization has also launched an Equality Action Plan that it hopes to bring about positive change.
“Cricket Scotland applies a zero tolerance policy to all forms of racism and discrimination and condemns racism in all its forms,” a statement read.
“We know that there are long-standing issues both in sport and in society at large around racism and racial inequalities that still exist and negatively impact many people, and we know we must play our part to address them in our sport.
“Last week we launched our Equality Action Plan, which has been in development for several months.
“An important part of that will be reaching out to all communities to understand their experiences of playing cricket in Scotland, both positive and negative, to better understand those experiences and inform our future actions.
“As announced, we will appoint an independent expert to carry out that crucial work and we are committed to acting on their findings.
“We will not discuss individual cases at this stage, but reiterate that any allegations of racism or other forms of harassment, whether recent or historical incidents, arising out of that inquiry or reported separately to Cricket Scotland, will be investigated and dealt with at thoroughly and appropriately. We encourage everyone to participate in those processes. “
Haq said the treatment he suffered still affects him today.
“I don’t think it will ever go away,” he said. “I still felt like I had a lot to contribute.