Pakistan CEO Wasim Khan says cricket needs to embrace diverse needs of players

Wasim Khan
Wasim Khan was the first British-born Muslim to play county cricket

Cricket needs to embrace its diverse range of players, says Pakistan cricket’s chief executive Wasim Khan.

Former batsman Khan became the first British-born Muslim to play county cricket when he appeared for Warwickshire in 1992.

He was chief executive at Leicestershire before joining the Pakistan Cricket Board in 2019.

“You can still have one game for everybody but also understand people have different needs,” Khan said.

There have been calls for reforms in the way the England and Wales Cricket Board deals with racist abuse in local leagues.

“It’s important a game such as cricket embraces those needs as quickly and as soon as possible,” Khan said.

“If people aren’t willing to get on board then they have to be moved aside.

“There’s no room for racism or prejudices anywhere that are going to hold anybody back, in the workplace or in a sporting environment.”

The governing body is also being sued by two former umpires over alleged racial discrimination.

Former Yorkshire spinner Azeem Rafiq has also filed a legal claim against the county after making allegations of racial discrimination.

The ECB has since introduced a commission for equality to increase diversity in the game.

Khan, who worked with the ECB on their strategy to attract more South Asian players to the game, said he believed there was a “desire and will” in the organisation to make changes.

“Sport, and cricket in particular, crosses all gender divides, all religions, all races,” Khan added.

“[ECB chief executive] Tom Harrison, who I know well, is pretty upset by the fact a lot of these things have happened and he wants to do something about it.

“I think it bodes well for English cricket, moving forward, that some home truths have come out and there’s a real desire now to make a meaningful difference.”

BBC News