The Prime Minister has spoken about the “sting” of racism, as he reflected on his love of cricket in the wake of a damning report into the sport.

Rishi Sunak, an avid cricket fan, joined the BBC’s Test Match Special programme for an interview during a break in Saturday’s Ashes action.

His appearance came days after the long-awaited Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket report found racism, sexism and elitism widespread within the sport.

Mr Sunak, the first British-Asian occupant of No 10, said it was “sad” reading but offered his backing to the England and Wales Cricket Board and said officials were “absolutely committed to fixing all the problems”.

But he also used the interview, which he said could be his longest grilling since becoming Prime Minister, to reflect on his own experience of racism.

“Of course I have experienced racism growing up, in particular, and of course I know it exists,” he said.

“It stings you in a way that very few other things do.

“And I’m in a job where I take criticism on a daily basis, hourly basis, minute-by-minute basis.

“It stings you. It does hurt.”

“One time, which I’ve talked about in the past, where I was with my younger brother and sister out and about in Southampton and some people said a bunch of things and I felt doubly bad because I felt bad about it. But I had my younger brother and sister with me and I didn’t want them to hear it and be exposed to it. It was really hard.”

The Prime Minister, who has spoken before about his experience of racism, said that Britain had changed as a country.

“One thing I take comfort from is I think the things that happened to me when I was a kid, I think they wouldn’t happen to my kids today, because I think we’ve just made incredible progress as a country and we should be proud of that,” he said.

Talking with broadcaster Jonathan Agnew, he said that the UK had made progress since he was young.

But he added that it was important to recognise “that there is no place for racism or sexism or anything else in our society and where we find it we should stamp it out”.

Mr Agnew, the long-serving cricket correspondent, joked with Mr Sunak that the interview would not stray into politics.

And much of the conversation did focus on the Prime Minister’s love of cricket, as he recounted visits to the old Hampshire cricket grounds growing up in Southampton as well as more recent exploits in the back garden of Downing Street with England’s T20 World Cup winners.

“That was actually, literally, the best day I’ve had in this job,” he admitted.

“How many times in your life do you get a childhood dream, playing cricket in your back garden with the England cricket team?”

England v Australia – LV= Insurance Ashes Series 2023 – Second Test – Day Four – Lord’s
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at Lord’s on Saturday (Mike Egerton/PA)

But Mr Sunak, who was watching the Ashes with England women’s cricketer Tammy Beaumont and ECB chair Richard Thompson, did discuss his disappointment at the independent commission report.

He said: “It was, for people who love cricket, really hard to read and you were just sad.”

“I have spent a little bit of the morning talking to the team at the ECB and I think they have approached it in exactly the right way.”

The Prime Minister, who recounted many of his cricketing heroes during the interview, was spotted alongside commentator and former Hampshire cricketer Mark Nicholas during his afternoon at Lords.

Mr Sunak was in attendance on the same day as the Prince of Wales, Prince George and Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey.

The final few minutes of the interview saw Mr Sunak present a Points of Light award, and a red velvet cake, to Sir Andrew Strauss for his “Red for Ruth” work supporting families impacted by a terminal cancer diagnosis.