ECB accused of ‘institutionalised racism’

Two former umpires, John Holder and Ismail Dawood, have accused the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) of “institutionalised racism”.

Holder and Dawood have asked for an independent investigation from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) “to challenge organisations like the ECB”, reports BBC Sport.

Holder, a former right-handed batsman who played for Nottinghamshire and after that took up umpiring, said it looked “more than suspicious” he had not received a reply from the ECB when offering to be a mentor. He has also expressed concern that no non-white umpires have been appointed in the first-class list in England in the past 28 years.

Dawood, who played county cricket for Worcestershire, Glamorgan and Yorkshire before becoming an umpire, meanwhile, said he had heard racist language used in front of senior ECB staff, which went unchallenged. The former wicketkeeper also said he had “absolutely no trust or confidence in the ECB” and the organisation is a “complete mess”.

Vanburn Holder was the last black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) umpire to be added to the ECB’s first-class list and since his retirement in 2010, there have been none.

“Today’s group of professional umpires doesn’t reflect the diverse ECB we are determined to be,” an ECB spokesperson told BBC Sport.

“We want to see more BAME representation among our officials, and recognise we still have a long way to go as a game to achieve this,” he added.

Earlier, in September, former Yorkshire spinner Azeem Rafiq had accused the club of “institutionalised racism”. Rafiq, who played for Yorkshire between 2008 and 2018, in a interview to ESPNcricinfo, had claimed that the abuse he suffered left him close to committing suicide and that his reports of racist abuse were “ignored” by the club at the time.

After that, the club had announced that they will launch a formal inquiry.