An independent review uncovered 448 examples of institutional racism within the Scottish game; new chair Anjan Luthra says he wants to "make a level playing field for everyone playing cricket in Scotland"; Majid Haq and Qasim Sheikh welcome appointment
Friday 7 October 2022 17:59, UK
Anjan Luthra has been appointed as Cricket Scotland's new chair for a two-year period as the organisation looks to rebuild after being found institutionally racist by an independent review.
Luthra, who played youth-level cricket for Scotland and now runs a London-based media company, says he was driven to take on the role after feeling "anger, deep upset and frustration" at 448 examples of institutional racism being uncovered within the Scottish game.
Cricket Scotland's previous board resigned shortly before the findings of the review were published, with Luthra telling Sky Sports News that his "No 1 priority" is to appoint an independent and diverse board of directors.
Luthra said: "I have arrived in a very problematic, complicated situation and there are some deep problems, but I am very optimistic about the future and ready to rebuild the organisation. I am ready for the challenge.
"Why I got involved was driven and fuelled by my anger, deep upset and frustration about what I was hearing and reading from the report.
"The more I read and the more I spoke to people, the angrier and the more upset I got about the experiences the victims had gone through. That anger and frustration turned into the motivation to try and help.
"The why for me comes from an underlying passion to change the course of this organisation and make a level playing field for everyone playing cricket in Scotland.
"Cricket has been a major part of my life and I am excited to bring my experience across business, technology and sport to elevate Scottish cricket domestically and on the international stage.
"Major challenges and opportunities lie ahead and I am excited about what the future holds for Cricket Scotland."
Public comments from Majid Haq and former Scotland team-mate Qasim Sheikh had prompted the independent review.
Haq has welcomed Luthra's appointment and feels he will "aim for the top" as he tries to reform Scottish cricket.
Haq said: "It's one of the first days I have been quite positive about Scottish cricket for a long, long time. I hope he can carry the hope forward over the next couple of years and I'm pretty confident he can.
"He is young, very ambitious and has done a lot in his life already. He comes from a good family, has good morals, and is extremely competitive and will want the best.
"He will aim for the top and that's what we need in Scottish cricket because there is a lot of potential there."
Sheikh said: "I am excited about Anjan's appointment, he has good business acumen, has good contacts.
"There is opportunity to go to other corporate people and businesses who might be interested in getting involved.
"The Scottish women's team don't have any contracted players. There needs to be funding to support equality in that space as well."
Gordon Arthur, interim CEO of Cricket Scotland, added: "I congratulate Anjan for being appointed the new chair of Cricket Scotland.
"Anjan's appointment is a major step in moving Scottish cricket forward. He is accomplished, dynamic and entrepreneurial with ambitious plans to develop the game of cricket.
"He has vast experience in the business world and brings the perfect combination of skills, passion, experience and ambition."
Luthra also wants to generate the capital to make cricket a professional sport in Scotland.
The men's national team are currently preparing for the T20 World Cup in Australia later this month - a tournament they reached the second round of last year in the UAE - while they defeated England in a one-day international in Edinburgh in 2018.
Luthra added: "We have a lot of talent and potential in this country and we have had some great results as a nation over the last couple of years.
"In order to take the next step we need to commercialise and reduce the reliance on government funding. We have seen our counterparts in Ireland do it. They now have a purpose-built cricket stadium and infrastructure."