Cricket Scotland chief denies his comments were ‘casual racism’

Cricket Scotland’s chief executive has denied “casual racism” claims relating to his previous comments on barriers facing ethnic minorities in accessing the sport. In

evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Health, Social Care and Sport Committee, Gordon Arthur, who was joined by new chair Anjan Luthra, said his comments were not intended to be a

“generalisation”. Mr Arthur, in a previous evidence session in October, said young people were leaving the sport because of pressures from family to succeed in education – a

comment which Labour MSP Paul O’Kane said could be “perceived as quite stereotypical” of many Asian communities. Tory MSP Dr Sandesh Gulhane said he had been “personally

quite upset” with the comments. But Mr Gordon told the committee on Tuesday that his comments were in relation to the story of Mr Luthra, who had been appointed as chair

just two days after his comments. And he said Running Out Racism – a group challenging prejudice in the sport – had held him to account on the comments. “I had many

conversations with Running Out Racism after the session last time about those words and what my intentions had been,” he said. “And I was accused of casual racism from the

words I said, which was not my intention at the time. “In fact, it was two days before Anjam was appointed and his story was the story I had in mind when I said that,

because I think he will tell you when he, aged 19, was pretty much told to pack in cricket and go get a job. “It was that story that was in my mind when I was saying that at

committee last time. It wasn’t intended to be a generalisation. That was what was in the back of my mind.”