Azeem Rafiq calls for ‘total clear-out’ of Yorkshire CCC leadership over racism scandal

Cricket’s racism whistleblower Azeem Rafiq has said the entire leadership team at Yorkshire CCC should resign if the club is to rebuild its shattered reputation. 

The former Yorkshire all-rounder was speaking to Sky News after he exposed the scale of the racism that he’d suffered at Headingley in front of a committee of MPs in Westminster yesterday.

“It’s pretty clear there needs to be a total clear-out,” he said of Yorkshire County Cricket Club.

“The 14 people who signed the letter to the board to discredit me because I don’t share ‘white rose values’ according to them, it’s clear the environment is so embedded in there that they can’t see what they’ve done wrong.

“I don’t think anyone in leadership can stay. I don’t think you can leave one in there because that will hinder, I think, more for Lord Patel.”

Lord Patel is the new chairman at Headingley, who has the task of rebuilding the cricket club in the wake of the racism scandal.

Rafiq said he felt vindicated after sharing such heartfelt and moving evidence about the impact that racism abuse has had on him and his family.

“I feel like yesterday was a start to show me that it’s all been worth it. But I think that’s all it is.

“It’s very important that victims are feeling like they’re going to be heard, if they’re coming forward that they clearly have some sort of trust that people are going to listen to them and make changes and I see that as massive progress that people are coming forward.”

In the last week alone, over 1,000 people have contacted the Independent Commission for Equality in Cricket to share accounts of discrimination that they have suffered in the game.

Rafiq also revealed he had spoken last night to Sky commentator and former cricketer David Lloyd, known to cricket fans as “Bumble” who apologised yesterday for messages he had sent which made comments about the Asian cricket community.

Rafiq said: “David Lloyd reached out and apologised. I told him how I felt about the stuff that he said and the fact he didn’t know me.

“He was clear that it hadn’t come from him. He’d been briefed by someone that was close to Yorkshire CCC, so it was disappointing, I told him exactly how I felt.

“But he apologised, I accepted his apology, and he’s put a commitment there that he’s going to help this game and society in the direction that we want it to go in.”

Sky said they had started an investigation into the messages.

A spokesperson said: “Sky is committed to actively championing inclusion in cricket – and in all sports – and opposing all forms of discrimination.”

Yorkshire County Cricket Club have been contacted for comment.

Source: Read Full Article