Connect with us

Cricket

Cricket Scotland found to have engaged in ‘unacceptable’ treatment of women and girls by ‘damning’ new report

Published

on

A “damning” report has revealed serious and “completely unacceptable” concerns around Cricket Scotland’s treatment of women and girls.

The McKinney Report findings were released following an informal and anonymous fact-finding process that began in November 2023.

It highlighted that sexism was “very much in evidence” with examples showing “a high degree of prejudice and discrimination towards both female staff and players” within cricket in Scotland.

Furthermore, in the years prior to 2022 it was noted individuals in senior leadership positions had “displayed bullying characteristics”.

The findings come two years after the whole Cricket Scotland board resigned on the eve of the publication of an independent report which uncovered institutional racism within Cricket Scotland.

That ‘Changing The Boundaries’ report – undertaken after two former internationals Majid Haq and Qasim Sheikh told Sky Sports News racism had blighted their careers – found 448 indicators of institutional racism and of 31 ‘tests’ used to measure the problem, Cricket Scotland failed on 29, while only partially meeting the required standard on the remaining two.

The latest report has highlighted that prior to the Changing the Boundaries report in 2022:

  • Individuals in senior leadership positions were outwardly discriminatory towards women and displayed bullying characteristics.
  • During this period, the evidence suggests that staff and players lost faith in Cricket Scotland’s senior leadership, including some board members.
  • Feedback also suggests there was no strategy or direction for the women’s game of cricket in Scotland, with a disparity in the level of investment and sponsorship compared to the men’s game, creating a feeling of inequality.
  • A need for better representation of women in the decision-making process at club level was also noted.

There was also evidence suggesting a step change in approach by the senior leadership team where poor behaviours are no longer tolerated, with several of the current staff and players confident about reporting concerns without fear of repercussion.

Although there are examples of sexism which are current there is no evidence to suggest that there are current examples of misogyny which is described as a hatred of women.

Several root causes leading to sexism were identified, including the make-up of committees, embedded male behaviours, under representation of female game officials, lack of long-term strategy for the women’s game and the lack of funding.

Examples found in the report:

  • It was revealed a Cricket Scotland member of staff said changing rooms or toilets could not be used due to cost.
  • Also highlighted prior to Commonwealth Games that men had more funding and their preparation involved specialist access for heat acclimatation. Meanwhile, women ran in a hall with layers and bin bags to help prepare.
  • No provision of meals after training, a disparity in specialist coaching, lack of winter training and no access to psychologists were also raised as concerns between women’s and men’s game.
  • Players also noted instances of lack of prep/planning for women’s team such as one occasion where a flight was not booked and players were not provided with performance supplements, which are typically provided for men.
  • New female players had also been given wrong size kit, had names spelt wrongly on shirts and when choosing a kit supplier – Cricket Scotland selected a company that did not provide a specific women’s fit. It was also noted there was a lack of consideration given to the specific dress requirements of women from an Asian background where covering up is important.
  • Conversations around period products for women or “all white” clothing for matches was raised as a concern in the responses from some participants.
  • For staff – it was noted some say they had been subjected to examples of discrimination including sexist behaviour and comments made by men. Senior leaders had made comments related to “heels and short skirts”. Female staff members also recalled examples of being treated differently to men in meetings.

Recommendations

Cricket Scotland is currently looking at equity on pay for future years which will bring parity between male and female players on remuneration, while one of Cricket Scotland’s objectives is for the same match fees and tour fees to be applied for both men and women.

Meanwhile, there were recommendations made for Cricket Scotland including:

Nine recommendations developed for Cricket Scotland

  • A long-term strategy for the Women and Girls’ game that is widely communicated.
  • Modernisation and makeup of cricket club committees.
  • Increased investment in the women’s game, including parity on contracts and equal treatment.
  • Rebuilding trust between staff, players, and the Board, with a focus on communication and engagement.
  • Education to address inherent sexism.
  • Establishing a process to call out sexism and discrimination in cricket.
  • Developing a wellbeing policy and support mechanism for all staff and players.
  • A clear and transparent process to raise formal concerns or complaints.
  • Continue the ongoing engagement and consultation process with staff and the wider cricketing community.

Cricket Scotland reaction

Trudy Lindblade, Cricket Scotland CEO said: “This report is a damning indictment of the treatment of female players and staff within our organisation. It is evident that Cricket Scotland allowed behaviours to take place that were disrespectful, demeaning and deeply concerning, and that these were allowed to continue for a significant period.

“This is completely unacceptable, and I wholeheartedly apologise to every single person who was affected and let down by the governing body.

“This report also highlights the huge amount of work that we need to do throughout cricket in Scotland to improve the standing of women and girls within our sport.

“We are committed to making the governing body and our sport welcoming and safe for all women and girls, and together with our regional associations and clubs we will work collectively to ensure there is no place for misogyny, sexism, or discrimination of any kind within our sport. Our new strategy, which is to be released shortly, will put the health and growth of women and girls’ cricket at its forefront.

“Several of the recommendations from the McKinney Report are already underway, but there is still a significant amount of work to be done by Cricket Scotland, our regions, and our clubs to affect the change that is needed.

“Cricket Scotland now has a robust disciplinary and complaints process in place, and I would strongly urge anyone who has been affected by the findings of the report and who feels they need to raise a complaint to use this process. These recently established processes demonstrate that Cricket Scotland is capable of handling matters in a transparent and considered manner.”

Continue Reading