Majid Haq ‘disgusted and horrified’ following racial abuse while umpiring

Former Scotland international Majid Haq was “disgusted and horrified” after being subjected to racial abuse which has resulted in a 63-year-old man being charged by police.

The incident took place when Haq was umpiring a game at Greenock Cricket Club on Saturday.

Allegations by Haq and former Scotland team-mate Qasim Sheikh led to an independent review which concluded last year that Cricket Scotland was institutionally racist.

Haq wrote on Twitter: “Disgusted & horrified with Saturday’s racist abuse directed at me while doing my job as an umpire. Thanks again to everyone who supported me on Saturday at the game which was easily my lowest point being on a Cricket field! #enoughisenough #notoracism”

His lawyer, Aamer Anwar, claimed Haq’s treatment since speaking out had been “horrific”.

A statement from the home club read: “Greenock Cricket Club have issued an unqualified apology to Majid Haq, an umpire at a match at Glenpark on 12th August in relation to an incident that occurred during a league game against Stenhousemuir.

“Greenock Cricket Club deplores any such conduct and will fully cooperate with the authorities in the investigation. The individual concerned has been suspended with immediate effect.”

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “A 63-year-old man has been arrested and charged in connection with racial abuse which happened in Brisbane Street, Greenock, on Saturday 12 August 2023.

“A report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal and the man is expected to appear in court at a later date.”

Sheikh sent out a message of solidarity to his former team-mate.

He wrote on Twitter: “Still people will live in denial, social media trolls will continue to abuse and push a dangerous narrative that only further fuels racism. I’m sad my friend @MajidHaq was subjected to this and he has my full solidarity.”

A Cricket Scotland statement relating to the alleged incident on Saturday said it “condemns in the strongest possible” terms the alleged behaviour.

It said: “Racism has no place in sport or society. It is a scar on cricket, and Cricket Scotland is wholly committed, along with our partners, to eradicating racist behaviour and attitudes from our game.”

The governing body added that it was working with the Cricket Scotland Match Officials Association, Western District Cricket Union and Greenock to ensure internal disciplinary proceedings proceed “swiftly and appropriately”.

A number of changes have taken place at Cricket Scotland since the damning report was published in July last year detailing 448 examples of institutional racism, and the governing body is working through a number of referrals on incidents that were flagged up during the review.

Cricket Scotland was placed in special measures by sportscotland as a result of the review.

A spokesperson for the national agency for sport said: “We are deeply concerned about recent reports in relation to racism in Scottish cricket and it is vital all complaints of this nature are robustly investigated and dealt with appropriately and as a matter of urgency.

“We are in close contact with Cricket Scotland relating to events of this weekend.

“Sport should be a fun and welcoming place for all, free from racism, discrimination and inequalities and we will continue to support Cricket Scotland as it addresses these issues.”