Cricket: ECB chief has no intention of resigning as clubs grapple with racism scandal

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Cricket: ECB chief has no intention of resigning as clubs grapple with racism scandal


The England and Wales Cricket Board chief executive has said he has no plans to step down as the game grapples with a racism scandal.

Tom Harrison has said he is “determined to lead” the clubs through the crisis, following a meeting to address the issue that has engulfed the sport in recent weeks.

Mr Harrison said: “I feel very determined to lead this change throughout the game and to make sure this scourge is resolved throughout the game.

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Lincolnshire County Cricket chairman Rob Bradley says the ECB will ‘hold hands on some things’

“… I want to make sure I leave a game that has the right kind of safe environment for everyone to feel welcome and a sense of belonging. “

He said he felt “passionate about this issue”, adding that it was “something that I feel deep inside”.

Richard Thompson, President of Surrey County Cricket Club, Harrison said, adding: “Cricket needs leadership right now, it doesn’t need a vacuum.

“Trust is everything now and it starts today, and from there I think the process will move very quickly so that we can start to show that our actions speak louder than our words. “

Friday’s meeting included the presidents of the 18 first-class counties, representatives of the 21 non-first-class cricket councils, the National County Cricket Association and the MCC.

Mr Harrison pledged “tangible action” to deal with the racism crisis, saying a comprehensive 12-point plan would be revealed on Wednesday.

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“We need a total cleaning”

He said: “I think this is just the first step.

“I’m not saying this is a miracle answer, or a miracle answer – it is an urgent and immediate response to the problems we face. “

Earlier, Lincolnshire County Cricket Chairman Rob Bradley told Sky News of the meeting, saying: “There are a lot of strong feelings.

“I think the ECB will raise its hand on some things. “

He added: “We have to learn a lot from this. The game should stand up and represent everyone equally.

“It’s in a bad state, it has to be said, but I think it was a good meeting today to start talking about things. “

Hampshire Chairman of the Cricket Council John Wolfe said those at the meeting found “very broad agreement on the direction of the trip”, with Chris Clements, chairman of Oxfordshire Cricket, describing the meeting as “very good”.

The ECB, MCC, PCA, NCCA and the First Class and Recreational County Cricket Network, said in a statement: “We stand together against discrimination in all its forms and are united as a sport to act.

“We will continue to listen and make rapid, positive changes to the culture of the game. We will embrace and celebrate differences everywhere, knowing that with diversity we are stronger. “

The ECB also apologized Azeem Rafiq – the former Yorkshire player whose racism allegations shocked the cricket world – and anyone else who has been discriminated against in the game, Mr Harrison saying the organization was ‘very sorry’.

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Among the recent developments in the scandal:

• Former Yorkshire cricketer Azeem Rafiq apologized after admitted to making anti-Semitic comments a decade ago.

Rafiq earlier this week gave tearful testimony to MPs about the racism he faced when they played for Yorkshire, revelations that sparked scandal and led cricket bosses to hold friday crisis summit.

• England cricketer Alex Hales is also apologized on Friday for appearing in blackface at a party in 2009, calling his behavior “reckless and insane”.

• Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston on Thursday threatened the sport of an independent regulator, described as the “nuclear option” if he failed to clean up his own affairs.

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