Cricket Scotland’s new Board of Directors has overseen significant progress over the final quarter of 2022, as it continues to address the program of work emanating from the Changing The Boundaries report, as well as the task of modernising and professionalising the governing body to the highest standards of governance, accountability, and leadership.
Changing The Boundaries
Since the last update was published on 31st October, two new independent Board members have been appointed and the new Board has met on several occasions. During the period three key draft documents have been delivered and will be published in due course: the Governance Review into the sport, the review into the handling of disciplinary issues in the WDCU, and the Cricket Scotland Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy. These pieces of work will all inform a significant period of change for the sport in the months ahead and will include further consultation where appropriate.
In addition, the initial review of all the referrals emanating from the review into racism in Scottish cricket has been completed, the referrals have been categorised and action to progress all referrals is underway. The most significant referrals, once fully investigated, will be passed to a series of Conduct in Sport Committees to adjudicate on the reported findings, and recruitment is underway to ensure a number of well-balanced committees are available to conclude these cases in a timely manner.
A key aspect of building capacity in the governing body and tackling the institutional racism that was found within Cricket Scotland has been to address the lack of any human resources capability in the organisation. A full review of all job descriptions, contracts of employment, performance plans, learning and development plans and appropriate software support is well underway and will be completed by the end of February. A specialist external provider has been contracted to provide high-quality, full-service HR support for the governing body going forward. Additionally, two new initiatives have been launched with SAMH, Scotland’s mental health charity, one to support staff and the other to offer support to anyone involved in the referrals process.
The governing body has also started a review of all selection policies and procedures for representative teams; these new processes and criteria have been used and have brought greater transparency to selection for the Men’s T20 World Cup and subsequent touring teams, as well as selection for the Women’s U19 team ahead of their inaugural World Cup participation in South Africa.
New Strategic Approach for Cricket Scotland
The Board took a momentous decision in October to offer contracts to members of the women’s international squad for the first time. Work is progressing to discuss and negotiate the basis on which these contracts will be offered. The governing body also announced at the same time that the support services provided to the men’s and women’s international squads would be rationalized, and that a number of staff would be leaving Cricket Scotland as a result.
These changes represented key strategic choices at the heart of a significant cost optimisation exercise that prevented Cricket Scotland from going into insolvency towards the end of 2022. The 2023 budget represents a 29% decrease in income, which will require Cricket Scotland to live within its means and be laser focused on driving efficiencies throughout the entire organisation. In parallel to this, the commercial strategy is being re-built as part of a major drive to attract new commercial revenues and diversify the revenue streams.
On the cricketing front, the men’s international team competed in the T20 World Cup in Australia in October, beating the West Indies in their opening game, and toured Namibia in November winning three of their four fixtures in the ICC WCWL2 series. The Women’s U19 team qualified for the inaugural ICC Women’s U19 World Cup during the summer, and completed their campaign on Friday with a win against the USA, following games against the UAE, South Africa and India.
Away from the international arena, Cricket Scotland launched an innovative new partnership with the South Asian Cricket Academy, which should provide additional opportunities for Scottish South Asian players to achieve professional status in both the men’s and women’s pathway in Scottish cricket.
Cricket Scotland Chief Executive, Gordon Arthur commented:
“The work to rid Scottish cricket of racism and any other form of discrimination remains our number one priority. As part of this work Cricket Scotland is going through a period of unparalleled change, where every aspect of the business is being reviewed. New financial systems, a completely new approach to human resources, consolidated information technology, a full review of policies and procedures and changes to working practices are all part of the changes underway.
We want Cricket Scotland to be a modern, inclusive, transparent and sector-leading governing body, and we are learning and developing all the time. In 2023 we want to rebuild trust and relationships across the sport including within local communities, and we are investigating some exciting new ideas to enable our international players to play more cricket. There is much still to be done, but the pace of change is significant, and we have ambitious targets for the year ahead.”