Azeem Rafiq calls for the international ban on Yorkshire cricket to be lifted at Headingley | Cricket news

“Yorkshires should be able to watch England in the test and the white ball matches at Headingley this summer,” Rafiq said in a Daily Mail column; the ex-Yorkshire player said the county club were moving in the “right direction” under new chairman Lord Patel

Last update: 11/01/22 11:40 p.m.


Azeem Rafiq called on Headingley to welcome international cricket again, two months after testifying at a DCMS select committee hearing into the racism he suffered at the Yorkshire CCC

Azeem Rafiq believes the international ban on Yorkshire cricket should be overturned after claiming the county club was moving in the “right direction” under the chairmanship of Lord Kamlesh Patel.

Yorkshire was suspended in November from hosting international or major matches by the England and Wales Cricket Council (ECB) for its “totally unacceptable” handling of Rafiq’s racism allegations.

Rafiq also testified in a moving DCMS hearing two months ago, and in a Wednesday column. Daily mailThe former Yorkshire player said the county had made positive progress since Lord Patel replaced Roger Hutton – enough, Rafiq said, for Headingley to welcome international cricket again.

“It has been a whirlwind since I appeared before MPs almost two months ago, and what Yorkshire and Lord Patel have done to bring about the change is definitely a step in the right direction,” Rafiq said.

“That is why I think the time has come to say that they should be given back the international cricket so essential to their survival. Yorkshires should be able to watch England in test and the white ball matches at Headingley this summer.

Rafiq says his fight against racism is more important than anything he has accomplished on the pitch as a player

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Rafiq says his fight against racism is more important than anything he has accomplished on the pitch as a player

Rafiq says his fight against racism is more important than anything he has accomplished on the pitch as a player

“The county had been very reluctant to implement any sort of change during my time at the club, and since then I have highlighted everything that had happened to me there. And that’s why we were here first. place.

“But if we ask an institution to look at itself, we have to recognize when it starts to show that it’s really sorry and tries to start making things right. Yorkshire must be supported and helped to get it right. direction. They seem genuinely ready to do the right thing now. Hopefully their actions under Lord Patel’s new presidency have shown that. “

Lord Patel has also expressed his wish to see the Yorkshire suspension lifted, suggesting the ECB could make a decision by the end of January.

The Yorkshire President said in an editorial on Tuesday: “I hope Yorkshire can set a clear model that other clubs can use so that we as a sport can raise the bar in how we treat others and how we measure our success.

“I also hope that Yorkshires and our supporters across the UK can now start to feel a glimmer of pride – and, of course, that the ECB’s decision at the end of this month allows our stadium beloved to be once again a world stage for cricket excellence.

“While we still have a long way to go and a lot of hard work ahead, the potential prize is formidable: a unique opportunity for a generation to not only transform the game in Yorkshire, but also provide a model for learning. and change – both in cricket and in the world of sport. “

Rafiq hailed Darren Gough's appointment as Yorkshire cricket manager

Rafiq hailed Darren Gough’s appointment as Yorkshire cricket manager

Meanwhile, Rafiq also praised the appointment of Darren Gough as Director of Cricket, adding: “I am encouraged by his involvement, not least because the game needs people like him directly involved. Goughie will get things done. “

Cricket racism crisis report to be released on Friday

A report by the parliamentary committee on the racism crisis in cricket is due for release on Friday.

The DCMS all-party committee said it would present its findings later this week after Rafiq’s hearing in November.

Yorkshire agreed in September last year that there was ‘no doubt’ Rafiq had experienced racial harassment and intimidation during his time at the club, as they released a summary of the findings and recommendations of an independent report that had been launched almost a year earlier.

ECB Managing Director Tom Harrison has vowed to 'propel change' following ongoing racism scandal that has engulfed sport

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ECB Managing Director Tom Harrison has vowed to ‘propel change’ following ongoing racism scandal that has engulfed sport

ECB Managing Director Tom Harrison has vowed to ‘propel change’ following ongoing racism scandal that has engulfed sport

However, the county faced significant backlash for its decision not to release the full report or to take disciplinary action against anyone based on the report.

On the same day the committee heard from Rafiq, it also heard from current and former Yorkshire Presidents – Lord Patel and Roger Hutton – and England and Wales Cricket Council chief executive Tom Harrison.

Rafiq said attempts to file complaints about the discriminatory treatment he was subjected to in Yorkshire fell on deaf ears, before an investigation was finally launched in October 2020.

General manager Mark Arthur resigned four days before Rafiq’s appearance before the committee, while Yorkshire announced on December 3 that cricket manager Martyn Moxon and head coach Andrew Gale were among 16 staff members who had been made redundant.

Lord Patel said on November 8 that the county had settled a separate complaint from Rafiq’s labor court.

Lord Kamlesh Patel replaced Roger Hutton as Yorkshire President in November

Lord Kamlesh Patel replaced Roger Hutton as Yorkshire President in November

The Independent Commission for Fairness in Cricket (ICEC), which examines racism and discrimination in the game, said it had been “inundated” with more than 2,000 responses in the fortnight following the opening of a call for testimonies on November 9.

On November 29, the ECB released a game-wide 12-point plan to tackle discrimination, with Harrison admitting the sport had been hit by an “earthquake” following allegations of racism at the level of the government. Rafiq County and other players.

The plan includes a review of the governance of the ECB, which will determine whether the sport needs an independent regulator. The effectiveness of its oversight of Yorkshire’s handling of the Rafiq investigation has been questioned by the DCMS committee.

The game-wide plan will also tackle the locker room culture, attempt to remove any barriers that exist in the talent path, and strive to make cricket a more inclusive environment for players and spectators.

Organizations have also set goals for board diversity to include 30% women or representative ethnicities at the local level by April. Compliance will be subject to a “comply or explain” provision.

Central funding of the ECB could be suspended when minimum equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) standards are not met.

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