Sports

Yorkshire pledges to cooperate with ECB after being accused of racism

yorkshire pledged to cooperate fully after being charged by English cricket’s governing body over allegations of racism in the county.

The England and Wales Cricket Board announced on Wednesday that Yorkshire and ‘a number of individuals’ would face disciplinary proceedings following an investigation into allegations made by Azem Rafiq.

Former Yorkshire player Rafiq has made a series of allegations about how he was treated during two spells at the club of 2008-14 and 2016-18.

The ECB did not name those charged. Hearings before an independent panel of the ECB’s Cricket Disciplinary Committee (CDC) are scheduled to take place in September or October.

A statement from Yorkshire read: “The Yorkshire County Cricket Club (YCCC) has just received the long-awaited notification of the charges and evidence arising from the Cricket Disciplinary Commission (CDC) investigation into past misconduct at the YCCC and the examined.

“For greater clarity, YCCC notes that the allegations relate to charges dating back to 2004 through 2021 and the club will require the cooperation of those in office during this time to fully investigate and respond to the issues raised.

“Unless and until the cooperation of those with first-hand knowledge and responsibility over the relevant period is forthcoming, the club is unable to comment on the investigation, evidence , the report or the charges, but will, of course, continue to cooperate fully with the CDC throughout this process.

The ECB launched its investigation last November after Rafiq gave harrowing evidence during a hearing of the select committee for digital, culture, media and sport.

Rafiq, who first alleged racism and bullying in September 2020, welcomed the development and hopes he comes closer to ‘closing’ the case.

The 31-year-old said in a statement: “It has been another grueling but unfortunately necessary process.

“It’s been two long years since I went public with my experiences, but I hope this all means that no young player will ever experience such pain and alienation again.

“My preference would be for this hearing to take place publicly, but I hope we are at least approaching a point where there is a sense of closure for my family and me.”

The ECB said its decision not to identify individuals “at this stage” was normal practice “in cases of this nature”.

The cricketer has named seven people who he says will face hearings. The PA news agency has contacted those people for comment.

The ECB has also confirmed that Yorkshire faces a charge over the way Rafiq’s allegations were handled.

After Rafiq went public, it wasn’t until September 2021 that even a summary report of the findings of a county-initiated investigation was released. The county said it accepted that Rafiq was racially harassed and bullied, but only confirmed seven of the 43 allegations and concluded that no one would be disciplined.

This reaction sparked a lot of criticism and a political backlash that led to Rafiq being asked to speak before the DCMS committee.

An ECB statement read: ‘The Yorkshire County Cricket Club and a number of people were charged today following an ECB investigation into racism and other allegations at the club and its management of these allegations.

“The ECB’s investigation was thorough and complex, with the allegations spanning a significant period of time and a number of witnesses and others coming forward to share their own experiences and allegations.”

The ECB has stripped Yorkshire of the right to host lucrative international matches at Headingley until governance changes are enacted. Under new President Lord Kamlesh Patel, these were signed into law in March this year.

DCMS Committee Hair Julian Knight told the PA news agency: “I’m glad the ECB is doing this and I’m looking forward to the outcome.

“Cricket needs to understand and learn that what happened in Yorkshire at that time – and it seems to have potentially happened in other parts of the game – cannot happen again.

“There needs to be a deep engagement to ensure that those in all communities who love the game of cricket also feel valued, and that needs to be central to everything the ECB and the game in general does in this country.”

Yorkshire pledges to cooperate with ECB after being accused of racism

Source link Yorkshire pledges to cooperate with ECB after being accused of racism

Back to top button