Middlesex chair apologises for comments made during DCMS meeting
'I wholly accept that this misunderstanding is entirely down to my own lack of clarity and context in the answers I provided'
The chairman of Middlesex County Cricket Club, Mike O'Farrell has apologised for the comments he made during a Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Committee meeting in the House of Commons.
In front of the DCMS, O'Farrell claimed that certain ethnic groups, including the Afro-Caribbean and South Asian communities in Britain, were not as interested in cricket in comparison to others across the UK.
"They do not want to commit the same time to go to the next step because they sometimes prefer to go into other educational fields."
Middlesex CCC Chairman Mike O'Farrell explains cricket's lack of diversity by citing not one but two racial stereotypes pic.twitter.com/489VIQSfpj
— PoliticsJOE (@PoliticsJOE_UK) January 25, 2022
In response to the reaction, the Middlesex CCC chair has since released a statement in which he 'wholeheartedly apologises' for his actions.
🏏 | STATEMENT FROM MIDDLESEX CHAIR MIKE O'FARRELL
Further to this morning’s DCMS Select Committee hearing, at which the Club’s Chair, Mike O’Farrell, appeared as a witness, he has issued a personal statement.
READ MORE ⬇️ | #OneMiddlesex
— Middlesex Cricket (@Middlesex_CCC) January 25, 2022
It said: “First and foremost, I wish to offer my wholehearted apologies for the misunderstanding that my comments made at this morning’s DCMS Select Committee hearing have evidently caused.
“I wholly accept that this misunderstanding is entirely down to my own lack of clarity and context in the answers I provided, and I am devastated that my comments have led to the conclusions some have made.
O'Farrell then added that - through his own fault - the point he was trying to make had been misunderstood and that cricket has to take responsibility for the lack of participation from certain ethnic groups.
“For the purposes of clarification," he added, " I was aiming to make the point that as a game, cricket has failed a generation of young cricketers, in systematically failing to provide them with the same opportunities that other sports and sectors so successfully provide.
“Cricket has to take responsibility for these failings and must learn that until we make the game an attractive proposition for youngsters of all backgrounds to continue through the pathway into the professional game, much like other sports and sectors are doing, the game won’t make the progress it needs to.
O'Farrell also appeared on Sky Sports, where he was asked if he would consider tendering his resignation as a result of the comments made, however the Middlesex chair insisted that if the board wanted him to step down, he would comply.
Middlesex chair Mike O'Farrell has apologised for comments he made during the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee meeting around the lack of diversity among young people in cricket. pic.twitter.com/q3dtNrSb9j
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) January 25, 2022
"Not at this particular stage because I think what we're doing for Middlesex, and what we're doing for Middlesex Cricket and the game generally is moving in the right direction," he said.
"I will always hold my hand up for my mistakes.
"I think what we've achieved here, and I'm speaking for Middlesex at the moment, says that we're on the right path.
"If the board decide that they think I should step down, I will do that. If the members feel strongly enough, I'm sure they will tell me."
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