In the wake of the discussion regarding racial discrimination around the world, former England cricketer Owais Shah has opened up about the inequality which exists within the English cricket. In a recent study, it was revealed that only five of the 118 (4.2%) people employed in the coaching staff by the 18 men’s first-class county teams are British Asian. This staggering number has brought some questions being raised at the English cricket culture.
The former England batsman has pointed out the numbers and called out the system of professional cricket in England. According to him, the numbers are just phenomenal. Shah is a Pakistan-born English cricketer who led England to a U19 World Cup win back in 1998.
I think there should be a system in place where everyone is encouraged to be a part of the system: Owais Shah
“Only eight people of colour [are] in the system we have in England, in the professional system, out of all the coaches and coaching staff and whatever, which is a phenomenal number. I live in London which is such a diverse city, everybody plays cricket that I know, especially people of Asian descent and Caribbean, so to think that only eight people of colour are in the system and in the coaching roles is phenomenal,” Shah told Sky Sports.
Shah talked about the appointment of Vikram Solanki as the head coach of Surrey. He talked about the importance of giving everyone an opportunity rather than being biased for one particular race. Solanki, who played 51 ODIs and three T20Is for England, was appointed the coach of Surrey last week. He is an India-born British cricketer.
“I know Vikram Solanki has been appointed as Surrey head coach in the last few days which is really good to see but we’ve got to look at the bigger picture here, why are we in this scenario? Why has this happened?” questioned Shah. “Nobody is saying people should be given a job because of their skin colour, I think there should be a system in place where everyone is encouraged to be a part of the system and then the best man should, of course, always get the job.”
Shah played for England between 2001 and 2009. He played a lot of cricket in overseas conditions as well. He had appeared in the Indian Premier League and the Big Bash League after his international career was over. The right-handed batsman represented England in six Tests, 71 ODIs and 19 T20Is.
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