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Cricket is caught on racism

New revelations in a report have exposed the extent of racism and discrimination inside of English cricket
Issue 2861
cricket Cricket Azeem Rafiq

Cricketer Azeem Rafiq

It should come as no surprise that “widespread and deep-rooted” racism and other forms of discrimination have been found in cricket—a sport so closely associated with imperialism and colonialism. 

A damning report into English cricket has found, “It’s not banter or just a few bad apples,” and that racism is “entrenched” and women are “stereotyped and treated as second-class.”

It found that cricket is “elitist and exclusionary” with a confusing complaints system that leaves victims to “suffer in silence”.

The England and Wales Cricket Board apologised, calling the Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket’s 317-page report “a seminal moment”. This is a world away from its 2021 response to Azeem Rafiq.

He had detailed the “inhumane” and “toxic” racist treatment that he and others faced at Yorkshire County Cricket Club. His experiences went to the top of cricket and exposed senior pundits, coaches and captains. But those at the top of English cricket responded with denials and refusal to acknowledge the truth.  

It may not be a shock that an elitist sport is rife with oppression, but the details of the deep-rooted hatred in sport are serious. 

Following the report fans of the game should rage against the sport’s governing bodies, who have previously denied that discrimination was rampant.  It’s time to bowl discrimination out of cricket. 

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