ICC to crack down on sexual harassment in cricket
The ICC will aim to fast track policies to crack down on sexual harassment in cricket, with the view of implementing them ahead of the Women’s World T20 that begins on November 9 in the Caribbean. It hopes to discuss its ‘Safeguarding Policy and Guidelines’ at its quarterly meetings beginning Wednesday, 17 October in Singapore.
The urgency to put these guidelines in place was driven by nine cited incidents of alleged sexual harassment or inappropriate behaviour in the cricket world, including at international matches or ICC events, in the last 18 months.
Alleged incidents in the last 18 months
- Sexual harassment of female physio at a domestic club.
- Harassment of female journalists.
- Inappropriate behaviour by member of team support staff at an ICC event.
- Abuse of fans at an international match.
- Sexual harassment by a player.
- Sexual harassment of two female anchors by a TV director.
- Player having contract terminated for indecent behaviour.
- Sexual harassment of female player by coach.
- Inappropriate comments made by a player towards a broadcaster ‘on air’.
“These types of incidents cannot be tolerated,” the ICC chief operating officer Iain Higgins and senior legal counsel Sally Clark said in a note to the Women’s Committee, Chief Executives Committee, Development Committee and the ICC Board, according to a report in the Hindu. “Given that the next event on the ICC calendar is the ICC Women’s WT20, which we consider to be an event at the higher end of the risk spectrum, it is recommended that the ICC policies are put in place, if at all possible, in advance of the start of this event.”
The types of behaviour identified by Higgins and Clark are: abuse (sexual, physical, emotional or otherwise) of children or adults at risk, abuse (sexual, physical, emotional or otherwise) of adults not at risk, harassment of children or adults at risk, harassment of adults not at risk, indecency (exposing themselves to someone else), bullying, victimisation, unwanted physical contact, stalking, offensive comments, jokes or body language, publishing, circulating or displaying pornographic, sexually suggestive or otherwise offensive material or pictures.
It is intended to bring the media under the scope of these guidelines as well.
While the ICC aims to put in place such policies, the BCCI is dealing with an anonymous allegation of harassment against its CEO Rahul Johri, who will not attend the ICC meetings in Singapore because he is preparing his response to the claims. The allegations against Johri pertain to a time when he was not employed by the BCCI and not involved in cricket administration.