If cricket clubs do not eliminate racism, they may lose public funding.
If top cricket clubs do not eliminate institutional racism, they risk losing public funding.
Following the abuse suffered by Yorkshire spinner Azeem Rafiq, MPs condemned what they called “deep-seated racism” in the sport.
The influential Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee also suggested withholding any future taxpayer funds paid to the sport in order to eliminate hate from locker rooms and stands.
Racism is pervasive in cricket, according to chairman Julian Knight.
In his two stints at the club, Rafiq, 30, was subjected to abuse.
“This demonstrates how seriously politicians are taking an issue that far too many in cricket have overlooked for far too long,” he said.
MPs have demanded that the England and Wales Cricket Board set clear goals or face funding cuts.
Yorkshire will not be able to host international matches until they clean up their act.
Both the ECB and Yorkshire CC will meet with MPs again later this year to update them on their progress.
“We are watching closely and fully intend to ensure that cricket cleans up its act,” the committee report said.
“We recommend that the government ensures that any future public funds for cricket are conditional on continuous, demonstrable progress in eliminating racism in both the dressing rooms and the stands,” says the report.
“Azeem Rafiq’s powerful testimony to this committee convinced us that his story was typical of an endemic problem across the entire sport of cricket,” Mr Knight continued.
“Public funding for cricket must be based on the ECB’s real leadership and progress in combating heinous behavior, not just in the dressing rooms, but also in the stands.”
“It makes me wonder if they’re ready to host internationals yet.”
“We are determined to root out racism and other forms of discrimination from our sport,” said ECB interim chairman Barry O’Brien.