Cricket racism controversy: ‘dressing room joke’ leads to lack of diverse talent on the field, new study


There is a saying in cricket: Strong Yorkshire, Strong England. This dates back to a time when many national men’s teams originated from Yorkshire and the county side’s health was generally seen as an indication of the state of English cricket.

Another aspect of Yorkshire cricket today is seen as an indicator of the health of the game and not in a good way.

Yorkshire County Cricket The club (YCCC) has been beset by a racism row in recent weeks, a crisis that has been brewing since Azim Rafiq, an all-rounder of Pakistani heritage, became the captain of the England Under-19 team and Yorkshire’s youngest ever. was the captain of. The team alleged that there was institutional racism at the club in 2020.

A delayed investigation by the club into the allegations eventually revealed that Rafiq had been the victim of racial bullying and harassment.

Yorkshire’s chairman and chief executive have since resigned, and a new chairman, Lord Kamlesh Patel, has been appointed with a specific brief to investigate institutional racism at the club.

The legal claim of discrimination, harassment and harassment by Rafiq has now been settled, with Patel apologizing to the player.

As is often the case, the sad details of some of Rafiq’s allegations have made their way into the media, causing tension on all sides, especially at a time when several sports teams, including the England national men’s cricket team, have called for denouncing racism. Choosing to kneel. In all sports and wider society.

Racism clearly has no place in the game or really society.

It is important to understand what racism is and what is and what is not acceptable.

The boundaries of generally acceptable behavior are set by a dominant group, or majority, of white British (and often privately educated) whites in professional cricket.

As such, accepting the majority culture is often placed on the minority to accept the majority culture.

While this alone does not equate to racism, it can pave the way for challenging racist language and behavior and portraying it as a joke or a joke.

It would take a particularly strong individual, especially a young player coming into a professional team to challenge the current culture and risk of being ostracized from the group.

These jokes left unattended and this behavior can develop to abusive and unacceptable levels, potentially having an unknown harmful effect on the recipient.

One consequence of this is that gifted players face an already difficult challenge of achieving their potential in the game, while consciously or subconsciously adapting to fit.

Our recently published research takes a comprehensive look at participation in elite men’s cricket in England and Wales and uncovers racial and socio-economic biases favored by privately educated white British players.

We found that you are 13 times more likely to become a professional cricketer if you attend a private school. If you add ethnicity to the equation, you are 34 times more likely to become a professional cricketer if you are white and privately educated, than if you are British South Asian (BSA) and educated in the state.

While the BSA community in England and Wales represents 8 per cent of the total population, they represent 30 per cent of those who play recreational cricket. In major cities such as London, Birmingham and Manchester, this number rises to over 50 percent.

Therefore, we analyzed whether this representation translated into professional sport. Essentially we asked, what are the talent searchers and development programs of professional clubs doing to capture, engage and retain players from these communities?

Our findings show that in all 18 first-class counties, BSA players are over-represented on their talent pathway, which equates to approximately 20 percent of players selected on the talent pathway (for under-10s to under-18s). While less than a recreational sport, we do not believe this equates to a significant racial bias in selection.

But more importantly, the BSA’s representation in professional cricket has come down to just 5 per cent. Worse yet, between 2010 and 2020, that number has declined by about 40 percent, and anecdotal evidence suggests that the decline has been greater since the early 2000s.

These findings highlight important racial biases in selection that require immediate action to address. Currently, we have several ongoing studies aimed at identifying specific reasons for these results.

It is important to note that an increase in representation does not equate to an end to racism in sport. The culture and practices enforced by the professional parties should be analyzed to ensure that all players feel comfortable and safe, and are provided with an experience designed to maximize their potential.

If the case of Azeem Rafiq has taught us anything, it is that even senior players (remember, Rafiq was once the captain of Yorkshire CCC) are not immune to racial harassment or bullying.

Therefore, if cricket is to really improve its level of inclusion and truly become a sport for all according to the England and Wales Cricket Board, it must analyze its current practices in the professional game and seek meaningful changes. Action programs designed for

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