Former Test umpire John Holder has accused England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) of “years of racism” and demanded an independent inquiry into the lack of match officials from ethnic minority groups in the country.
A former Hampshire cricketer, who officiated in 11 Tests and 19 ODI’s in a career spanning almost three decade, has said that non-white umpires have not been appointed to first-class cricket list since 1992.
on an interview with ESPN cricinfo, Holder said,” I have lived in England for 56 years. And I can tell you, hand on heart. I have never experienced racism before. But when you look, at these figures, when you understated what is going on, it is hard to reach any other conclusion.”
“When I stopped working for the ICC, I contacted the ECB to offer my services to mentor umpires. I did not even get a reply. Instead, ex-players, some of whom have never stood as umpires, were appointed to the role. That is ludicrous. It’s like employing someone who can’t drive to be a driving instructor.”
In a Statement by StumpOutRacism, a grassroots organization established to counter racism in cricket. he said: “My suspicion is that there has been a definite policy of only employing whites for this position.”
The ECB said it is committed to “ensure a culture of inclusivity and fairness throughout the umpiring system.” -PTI