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 the following personal statement:
“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.
“For the purposes of clarification, 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.
“We at Middlesex are no different. We have an Academy side that contains in excess of 60% British born Asian and Black young cricketers, and we must take responsibility for ensuring that the route into the professional game is as accessible and appealing as other sports or opportunities.
“I speak on behalf of the entire Club in saying that our desire is to see a first eleven walking out to play for the Club which is truly reflective of the broadly diverse county that Middlesex is today and that we will do all within our power to make that happen.
“Once again I apologise for any upset or hurt my earlier comments may have caused, that was most definitely not my intention.”