Middlesex chair apologises for comments made during DCMS meeting 3 months ago

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.

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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.

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The comments led to outrage on social media with the likes of Azeem Rafiq and Ebony Rainford-Brent condemning O'Farrell on Twitter.

In response to the reaction, the Middlesex CCC chair has since released a statement in which he 'wholeheartedly apologises' for his actions.

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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.

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“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 Sportswhere 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.

"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.

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"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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