Azeem Rafiq racism claims: Dozens contact Yorkshire cricket’s whistleblowing hotline in first week

Yorkshire Cricket Club’s whistleblowing hotline has had contact from 36 people in its first week.

It was set up after Azeem Rafiq spoke up about enduring years of racism whilst playing there.

The scandal has engulfed the English game, with cricketers such as Zoheb Sharif and Maurice Chambers also coming forward, and claims made against high-profile players.

Yorkshire said in a statement on Monday that “36 individuals have emailed the hotline since it became operational on Monday 15 November”.

It has been set to investigate “any form of discrimination” a person has suffered at the club.

All the complainants will be contacted by a team run by top barrister Mohinderpal Sethi QC, who has been picked as an independent investigator to look at the whistleblowing complaints.

Mr Sethi is chair of the Employment Law Bar Association and recently conducted an independent investigation for British Gymnastics into complaints brought by Olympians.

Yorkshire said it is “committed to transparency regarding the volume of contact to the hotline and will share updates regularly, initially weekly”.

“It is essential that those who have experienced or witnessed racism, discrimination and abuse are able to come forward to share their experiences. I thank all of those who have contacted the hotline so far,” said the club’s new chairman, Lord Patel of Bradford.

“Lasting and authentic change, particularly in the face of a complex and systemic issue, takes consideration and time, and cannot happen without the voices of those who have suffered.

“Only through committing to listen, and to believe, those who have bravely shared their experiences – and those still to do so – can we truly understand the scale of the issue.”

On Sunday, Health Secretary Sajid Javid told Sky News that Yorkshire Cricket Club is “stuck in the dark ages”.

He accused the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) of not taking the issue “very seriously”, revealing he had discussed the problem of discrimination with them more than five years ago when he was culture secretary.

Speaking to Sky’s Trevor Phillips, he said the ECB needed to “take a long, hard look at themselves”.

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