Former England cricketer Owais Shah has opened up about the lack of racial equality in the English first-class system. The 41-year-old questioned the absence of people of colour and minority communities in coaching roles, despite the fact that England is a very diverse country.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Owais Shah also put forth his opinions on the appointment of Indian-born Vikram Solanki as the Surrey head coach.
“Only eight people of colour are in the professional system we have in England, out of all the coaching staff, which is a phenomenal number. I live in London which is such a diverse city, everybody that I know plays cricket, 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,” said Owais Shah.
The former middle-order batsman even went on to question why the English county system is in this position in the first place.
“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?” he asked.
“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,” stated Owais Shah.
Owais Shah's comments come in the wake of cricket's fight against racism
Earlier this month, Daren Sammy had opened up about the racist taunts he was on the receiving end of while playing for IPL franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad. Various other cricketers like Chris Gayle, Jofra Archer, and Irfan Pathan have also voiced their opinions on the topic.
Owais Shah's comments are backed up by facts. Out of the 118 men in the coaching staff of the 18 English first-class teams, only 5 are British-Asian. Hopefully, the situation will see some drastic improvement in the near future.