Stand-in Cricket Scotland chief Gordon Arthur meets Majid Haq and Qasim Sheikh

Stand-in Cricket Scotland chief executive Gordon Arthur has had “very constructive” meetings with racism whistleblowers Majid Haq and Qasim Sheikh.

Former Scotland players Haq and Sheikh have raised far-reaching racism grievances against Cricket Scotland, leading to widespread resignations amid a damning independent review.

Arthur met Haq and Sheikh at Scotland’s Twenty20 with New Zealand in Edinburgh on Wednesday and apologised to the duo.

Cricket Scotland has been placed into special measures after an independent review published on Monday identified 448 instances of institutional racism, while Haq and Shiekh’s lawyer has branded players’ refusal to speak out in response as “deeply shameful”.

Cricket Scotland Racism Report Press Conferences
Qasim Sheikh has blown the whistle on racism in cricket in Scotland (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Arthur has now moved to address the scandal in person however, with Cricket Scotland confirming a meeting at Wednesday’s match.

“Gordon Arthur has met with Majid Haq and Qasim Sheikh today at the Scotland vs New Zealand T20 international,” said a Cricket Scotland spokesperson.

“He has had a very constructive discussion about resolving the issues that have come out of the review into racism, and has apologised for the time it has taken to get to this stage and the impact it has had on them and their families.

“They have agreed to meet within the next week and have a shared commitment to ensure cricket in Scotland is a truly welcoming sport with equal opportunities for everyone.”

Arthur’s intervention came in the wake of Aamer Anwar, the lawyer representing Haq and Sheikh, releasing a damning statement earlier on Wednesday.

“Since the board resigned and the publication of the devastating indictment of Cricket Scotland, the white players in the Scotland team have yet to provide any real solidarity to the victims of racism, including their fellow team-mates Hamza Tahir and Safyaan Sharif,” Anwar said.

“Their attitude is deeply shameful (and) the fact that last year the team were taking the knee can now only be described as tokenism.”

Consultancy firm Plan4Sport conducted an independent review that has revealed widespread racism issues at Cricket Scotland, after allegations raised by Haq and Sheikh.

Anwar added: “Many of the dinosaurs who remain at the heart of Cricket Scotland claim to love the game, in fact their racism is killing the game, our cricket grounds should be packed with families and communities cheering on their diverse teams who are picked to play on merit, but sadly they are not.

“If these racists think that they can ignore what has happened, then they should be under no illusion that there is no turning back, they represent (the) past and should have no role on the future of Scottish Cricket.”

The review, titled ‘Changing the Boundaries’, found the governing body had failed on 29 out of 31 indicators of institutional racism.

From an anonymous survey, 122 people reported experiencing racial discrimination and 49 people reported experiencing discrimination on grounds of religion or belief.

Most (62 per cent) of the survey respondents had experienced, seen or received reports of racism or other forms of discrimination.

From conversations, 68 individual concerns have been referred for further investigation, including 31 allegations of racism against 15 people, two clubs and one regional association.

Some cases have been referred to Police Scotland, some to Children First and others to Cricket Scotland. No other details were given but someone has already appeared in court.

The allegations include racial abuse, use of inappropriate language, favouritism towards white children from public schools and a lack of a transparent selection process.