Scorer who racially abused umpire Majid Haq handed lifetime ban

A club official who racially abused former Scotland international Majid Haq and showed “no remorse” has been handed a lifetime ban from attending cricket matches in the country.

Ronald McGregor was acting as scorer at Greenock Cricket Club when he called umpire Haq a “cheating P***” and then told him to his face it was a “factual term” when confronted over the abuse.

Cricket Scotland referred the case to an independent disciplinary process led by a Conduct In Sport Panel, which issued a “lifetime ban from attending any matches under the auspices of Cricket Scotland”.

McGregor, a well-known former player in Scottish club cricket, is also expected to be sentenced in court next month after previously admitting a charge of acting in a racially aggravated manner which caused or was intended to cause alarm or distress.

The incident happened during a WDCU Premiership One match between home club Greenock and Stenhousemuir on August 12.

The panel stated that McGregor did not attend the disciplinary hearing or respond to an invitation to make any representations on his own behalf.

A statement added: “In determining sanctions, the panel found no mitigatory features in the incident, noted that Mr McGregor refused to engage in the disciplinary process, and in his only email response to Cricket Scotland exhibited no remorse or culpability.”

Cricket Scotland chief executive Pete Fitzboydon said: “Racism, and those who demonstrate discriminatory behaviour, have no place in our sport.

“Cricket can be one of the greatest forces for bringing communities together, and the vast majority is played without incident. Unfortunately, a small minority of people continue to demonstrate their racist and bigoted views in our game. Any racist incident is one too many.

“Cricket Scotland’s focus remains on preventing incidents from occurring by helping the sport to become anti-racist. However, appropriate sanctions for any perpetrators are extremely important.

“While the Conduct in Sport Panel is rightly independent from Cricket Scotland, this lifetime ban reassures me that they regard racism with the same level of condemnation that the governing body does.”

Haq welcomed the outcome through a statement from his lawyer, Aamer Anwar.

Anwar added: “Majid said that whilst McGregor has failed to show any remorse, despite having pled guilty to the criminal charge, he hopes such robust action by Cricket Scotland sends out a strong signal to anyone who wishes to engage in such vile and racist conduct.

“Majid believes it is time that the clubs took a zero-tolerance approach to racism and any other forms of discrimination by those who wish to keep cricket in the dark ages.

“Majid is grateful to the panel, and to those who gave statements to the police, but it still saddens him that despite what had happened to him, as a victim it was left to him to call the police.”

Complaints from Haq helped spark an independent review which last year found hundreds of examples of institutional racism within Cricket Scotland.