Ayr Cricket Club was accused of homophobia yesterday after its Twitter account made a joke involving meteorologist Sean Batty and Scottish international cricketer Majid Haq.
After Majid Haq had posted a tweet to the STV weather presenter about the unseasonally warm weather, the Cricket Club replied “Big lad stop hanging out the back of Batty! Just ask him…#loser”. The tweet was later removed and Ayr Cricket Club apologised, saying the tweet had been misinterpreted.
In March, Majid Haq was sent home from the 50 over World Cup after claiming there had been a racial motivation behind him being dropped for a match against Sri Lanka.
Majid Haq’s solicitor Aamar Anwar has called for Cricket Scotland to take action against the club.
He told The National: “It’s shocking that a cricket club could post homophobic abuse of player Majid Haq and TV weatherman Sean Batty, yet no action appeared to be taken other than the tweet being deleted. Ayr compounded the situation by attempting a half-hearted apology and describing the abuse as ‘misinterpreted’ rather than homophobic. That simply isn’t good enough.”
He added: “As for Cricket Scotland one wonders what if anything they propose to do. They were quick enough to suspend Majid from the World Cup Squad when he tweeted about it being ‘tough in a minority’, yet there has been total silence on this issue.”
Cricket Scotland’s Senior Operations Manager, Ross Brooks, told KaleidoScot: “Cricket Scotland is committed to promoting and achieving equity, and to ensuring that unfair discrimination is eliminated. Discrimination is not tolerated within the National Governing Body in Scotland and its constituent Associations, Leagues and Clubs.
“Cricket Scotland and the Western District Cricket Union (WDCU) are aware of a tweet from a member club’s twitter account posted on the 19th December. Under the disciplinary structure for cricket in Scotland, the initial investigating authority is the local cricket association, in this case the WDCU. The WDCU have advised in relation to this incident investigations are well under way and the member club is cooperating fully with WDCU officials. The WDCU has been keeping, and will continue to keep, Cricket Scotland informed of relevant developments.”
WDCU were unavailable for comment, but posted the following on its website:
“We abhor the comments made, which are completely unacceptable in a civilised society, we would offer our apologies to those targeted by the remarks and assure all that appropriate disciplinary proceedings will follow as and when required.”
The only UK cricketer to be out as gay, Surrey and England international Steven Davies, received support from both players and management when he came out in 2011. Racist abuse is rare in the game, but when it does occur, those involved are punished. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has in the past 18 months suspended two county professionals for racist abuse.