The former chair of Cricket Scotland has issued a scathing criticism of last year’s investigation into racism in the sport, calling the report “fatally and irredeemably flawed” and urging the Scottish government to commission an independent enquiry into how it was put together.
Brian claims shortcomings in the report mean that the charge of institutional racism against Cricket Scotland, which led to the board resigning en masse, was not supportable. He has also asked that the governing body be removed from special measures.
“We now know that SportScotland’s so-called ‘independent’ report was flawed from its inception and a gross waste of large amounts of public money,” Brian said. “The results of Freedom of Information requests and in-depth analysis of the report and its methodology now show clearly that it was a deeply flawed report with a pre-determined outcome conducted by ill-resourced and conflicted reviewers who failed to undertake proper forensic investigation or even to speak to many relevant individuals.”
Scottish cricket continues to deal with fallout from the Changing the Boundaries report, which identified 448 examples of alleged institutional racism and found Cricket Scotland had failed 29 of the 31 tests used to measure the scale of the problem.
Brian’s dossier argues that as well as “up to £1m” in wasted public expenditure on the investigation, Cricket Scotland has missed out on “tens of millions of pounds of potential investment” through the ICC, with the report’s publication halting an application for Scotland to become a Full Member nation, thereby unlocking further funding.
Central to Brian’s criticism of the report is the role of Plan4Sport, which was commissioned by SportScotland to carry out the review into Scottish cricket. Plan4Sport is described in the dossier as “a small three-person consultancy operating out of a residential address in Staffordshire”, which had previously worked for SportScotland – and therefore was not fully independent.
Ten months on, the 448 instances of discrimination and 31 indicators of institutional racism have not been published. After a Freedom of Information request, SportScotland revealed that it “did not validate or oversee the methodology or findings”.
Brian claims that key witnesses were not called for interview, and that evidence of “positive experiences of inclusion” was not given any weight. It is also suggested that Plan4Sport had previously worked with Cricket Scotland on its Equality, Diversity and Inclusion framework, and did not raise any concerns about discrimination.
In response, SportScotland issued the following statement: “That people still refuse to accept the findings of Changing The Boundaries is a cause for concern. The denial of racism is a barrier to racial equity and is doing further damage to the sport that so many people in communities across the country love.
“The findings of the Changing The Boundaries report were accepted in full by the previous Cricket Scotland Board who apologised multiple times for the racism and discrimination problems within the sport. The governing body is now fully committed to implementing all recommendations contained in the report and we will continue to support them through the rebuilding process.
“We have full confidence in how the Changing The Boundaries review was carried out and will not be conducting any further reviews.”