Qasim Sheikh has commended Cricket Scotland’s new partnership with the South Asian Cricket Academy (SACA).

Sheikh helped set up the project to address inequalities and increase British South Asian participation and representation in the sport.

Earlier this year an independent review found Scottish cricket’s governing body to be institutionally racist.

Former player Qasim Sheikh spoke out about his experience of racism in Scottish cricket. This new partnership will introduce pilot projects to create additional opportunities for male and female British South Asian players on the pathway to national team level to achieve professional status.

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Qasim Sheikh and Majid Haq called for action to be taken and recommendations to be implemented in Scottish cricket after a damning review found that its governing body failed on almost all tests of institutional racism

“I think it’s a massive step forward,” Sheikh told Sky Sports News. “It’s ground-breaking and I hope a massive step forward in the short term for British South Asian cricketers in Scotland.

“I think this will be huge to make sure we’re not losing any players in the process.”

Successful male participants in the programme will be offered bespoke training from January, followed by pre-season performance camps and fixtures from April 2023. The female programme will take place after the U19 World Cup in January 2023 with the best players being engaged in a joint SACA/Cricket Scotland coaching programme.

Sheikh underscored that this is just one step in a longer process. “It’s only a short-term thing while we work to move things forward with Cricket Scotland. But for the time being it just means opportunities will be there for boys and girls with a South Asian background,” he said.

“I’m very passionate about Scottish cricket, I’ve said this all along. I continue to try and engage with people as much as possible and help where I can. Yes, there have been some bumpy roads along the way but there’s some really good people slowly but surely coming involved. I hope there’ll be a new board fully announced in future, I have had meetings with the current interim chief exec, Gordon Arthur.

“We are slowly starting to see the changes that we would like to see for everyone in Scottish cricket. But there’s a long, long way to go.

“I would like to give all my efforts to hopefully celebrate one day that it was worth speaking out so that everybody can thrive equally in Scottish cricket.

“I hope Scottish cricket can be the pioneers for many other Scottish sports to follow suit.”

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