An Oxfordshire cricketer given only a six-week ban for using a racist word in a match against Berkshire - just weeks before a landmark report on racism in the sport

The news follows a shocking report by the Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket which found the sport still featured "structural and institutional racism".

The unnamed player had written a racist word during a men’s first 11 National Counties Cricket Association (NCCA) T20 match between Berkshire County Cricket Club and Oxfordshire Cricket Club on May 1.

The ban on June 2 ruled that an Oxfordshire-based player could not take part in any England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) matches until July 14 - a ban of six weeks.

Normally the offence would carry a season-long sanction, but was mitigated due to the player's 'early admission of guilt'.

A spokesman from Oxfordshire Cricket said: “The offence carries a season long sanction, which was mitigated through the player’s early admission of guilt, unreserved apology to those engaged in the match, mandatory training and lack of intent to cause offence.

“The player acknowledged that despite the lack of any intent, the harm caused was significant - bringing himself, his club and the wider game of cricket into disrepute.

“The panel recognised that the player involved plays in leagues beyond the NCCA and that the imposed sanction has effect upon those additional leagues also, as such the sanction was subject to a proportionate reduction.

“Taking into account matches already served on suspension, the player is banned from all ECB affiliated cricket until July 14, 2023.”

The incident came just weeks before the long-awaited release of a damning report by the Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket (ICEC) yesterday (27/6) which concluded that racism, sexism and elitism are widespread within the sport.

The report received evidence from more than 4,000 respondents, and found that women are treated as "subordinate" to men at all levels of the sport.

It also identified a trend of "elitism and class-based discrimination" in the sport, and said that 'failed' black cricketers had not reported incidents out of distrust for the sport's enforcement authorities.

The ICEC has made 44 recommendations, including that the ECB makes an unreserved public apology for its failings.

Oxfordshire Cricket said it welcomed the report and would 'read and fully digest the findings and recommendations' over the coming days.

A statement said: "This is a time when cricket as a sport needs to come together, to listen, reflect, and act in order to work together to make cricket truly a sport for all.

"Oxfordshire Cricket are fully committed to making cricket a game for everyone and the sport of choice in Oxfordshire.

"There is no place for discrimination in our game and the wider society and we acknowledge that there is a long way to go.

"Over the coming months, we welcome the opportunity to engage fully in the ECB consultation process in order to make cricket truly accessible to all."