Cricket Scotland chairman Anjan Luthra resigned from his post with immediate effect on Friday morning.

His departure comes following a series of resignations from Cricket Scotland’s anti-racism and equality, diversity and inclusion advisory group earlier in the week over perceived lack of progress in tackling racism.

Here's a run-down of how this situation came to pass.

Scottish cricket seems to have got itself in a bit of a state. Howzat?

It’s a complex one, a saga fast becoming as long and undulating as a stretch of boundary rope. The resignation on Friday of Anjan Luthra as chair of Cricket Scotland is merely the latest in a series of incidents that haven’t shown the sport in the greatest of lights. The turbulence behind the scenes will likely continue for some time to come yet.

How did this all begin?

Taking their lead from the racism scandal that engulfed Yorkshire county cricket club following allegations made by their former player Azeem Rafiq, two ex-Scotland internationals, Majid Haq and Qasim Sheikh, went public in November 2021 with claims that they too had suffered at the hands of racist acts. They were supported by high-profile lawyer Aamer Anwar and a new anti-racist lobbying group, Running out Racism.

READ MORE: Cricket Scotland chairman resigns amid row over efforts to tackle racism

And what did those claims lead to?

Well, just a month later sportscotland commissioned an independent body – Plan4Sport – to investigate not just allegations of deep-seated racism but also to look at how Scottish cricket was being run, its culture, its behaviours, its structures and systems. They began collecting testimony and evidence in January 2022, engaging with around 1000 people over the following six months.

What did they discover?

It was wholly damning. The top line of the Changing The Boundaries report declared Cricket Scotland to be an “institutionally racist” organisation as per the Sir William MacPherson definition, with almost 500 reported examples unearthed. The charge sheet varied from overtly racist acts, such as abuse and racist “banter”, to a lack of diversity in key roles, no inclusivity or understanding of different communities, and no proper reporting mechanism in place to deal with race-related incidents. Some of the offences were referred to Police Scotland as hate crimes.

The racism charges made all the headlines but it was not the only thing that came up. There were also accounts of misogynistic and other inappropriate behaviour, as well as criticism of certain structures and hierarchies. Cricket Scotland, for example, did not employ a Human Resources manager and was massively under-resourced.

What happened after that?

The day before the report was made public, the Cricket Scotland board resigned, aware that a tidal wave was set to sweep over the entire sport. And sure enough it came crashing down the next day, vindicating Haq and Sheikh’s decision to speak out. Cricket Scotland was placed under special measures by sportscotland until October 2023 – meaning they were effectively answerable to the national governing body – while a number of other recommendations were made.

These included that the new Cricket Scotland board should comprise of at least 40 percent male and 40 percent female members, with at least a quarter also required to come from black, Southeast Asian or other ethnic groups. An action plan was put in place, as well as the need for a thorough governance review.

READ MORE: Cricket Scotland’s claims of EDI progress dismissed as ’empty soundbites’

Where does Anjan Luthra come into it?

Luthra was a former Scotland youth cricket international turned successful businessman and entrepreneur who was appointed as Cricket Scotland chair in October 2022 on a two-year tenure. He was tasked with overseeing the process of rebuilding the sport out of the rubble, using his experience and expertise to start to put into place many of the recommendations made in the Changing The Boundaries report but also modernising the sport, providing better conditions for the women’s game and supporting grassroots cricket.

So why has he resigned?

Last week Luthra published an interim update on all the work undertaken on his watch so far. That included saving Cricket Scotland from potential insolvency, offering the women’s team paid contracts for the first time, publishing a governance review, signing new commercial deals, rebuilding internal departments while also working through the varied Changing The Boundaries recommendations.

Critics, though, including Running out Racism, felt that not enough progress had been made on the latter front, describing Luthra’s update as “arrogant” and “tone deaf”. Several members of the newly-formed Equality, Diversion and Inclusion (EDI) group stepped down, citing a lack of engagement and no tangible developments.

Luthra, in turn, felt he could no longer remain in post as long as sportscotland were calling the shots, believing their focus on dealing with anti-racism measures above all else was putting the sport in jeopardy. He also criticised the length of time it was taking them to deal with the “referrals” that emerged from the Changing the Boundaries report, believing they were no longer being dealt with in an impartial fashion.

READ MORE: Cricket Scotland rocked by anti-racism group resignations over lack of progress

Anything else?

Oh, the interim chief executive, Gordon Arthur, also stepped down last week so Cricket Scotland are now looking for a new CEO and a new chair.

How is this affecting on-field matters?

Remarkably the men’s team is still going strong despite all the turbulence. They will compete in the final qualifier for the 50-over World Cup in Zimbabwe in June and are then hosting the qualifier for next year’s T20 World Cup. They have just lost their head coach, Shane Burger, to Somerset CCC but his temporary replacement, Doug Watson, is set to take over next week.

What are Cricket Scotland saying about all this?

They issued a statement on Friday evening. “Cricket Scotland can confirm the resignation of its Chair, Anjan Luthra, with immediate effect. Cricket Scotland will not comment further on his resignation, other than to thank Anjan for the considerable time and energy he has spent during his time on the Board. There will not be any response to the personal opinions that have been made public following his resignation.

“Cricket Scotland has been in constant contact with sportscotland throughout the day to put in place short term measures to enable the governing body to continue delivering its programmes of work, and we are appreciative of their continued support. This includes progressing the appointments of a fixed term Head for the “Changing The Boundaries” work and an interim Chief Executive Officer.

“The cricket season is less than four weeks away and there is much to be done, and the team remain fully focused on delivery in all areas. The independent investigation team, led by Harper MacLeod LLP and Sporting Equals, continue to work on the referrals process, with oversight from sportscotland. Cricket Scotland continues to support this process and will be ready to deal with these cases as they emerge from the investigations phase. It is in everyone’s interest that this process is brought to a conclusion as soon as possible.”