Yorkshire racism case: ECB charges club & 'number of individuals' with bringing game into disrepute


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  1. #1
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    Yorkshire racism case: ECB charges club & 'number of individuals' with bringing game into disrepute

    Azeem Rafiq was the "victim of racial harassment and bullying," according to the findings released from a report by his former club Yorkshire.

    Last year, Rafiq, 30, had claimed "institutional racism" at the club left him close to taking his own life.

    Seven of the 43 allegations made by the player have been upheld by an independent panel.

    Yorkshire chairman Roger Hutton offered the club's "profound and unreserved apologies" to Rafiq and his family.

    "There is no question that Azeem Rafiq, during his first spell as a player at YCCC, was the victim of racial harassment," Hutton said in a statement. "He was also subsequently the victim of bullying."

    Yorkshire have released a summary of the panel's report and recommendations but said the full report can not be released for legal reasons "in relation to privacy law and defamation".

    According to Hutton, the report said there was "insufficient evidence to conclude that Yorkshire County Cricket Club is institutionally racist".

    The report findings said: "The panel were unanimous in concluding that it could not reach a finding of institutional racism on the basis of insufficient evidence and the panel was not reaching a conclusion that there was no evidence of institutional racism."

    What do the findings say?
    Yorkshire say the the majority of the allegations were not upheld due to "insufficient evidence".

    The enquiry conducted 29 interviews with 26 witnesses, but the club said "many individuals" declined to participate which "impacted on its ability to make conclusive findings one way or another".

    The seven allegations upheld were:

    When Rafiq was playing junior cricket for Yorkshire, he was not provided with halal food at matches. This has now been rectified.
    [Relating to the period prior to 2010], the panel found that there were three separate incidents of racist language being used by former players which were found to be harassment on the grounds of race.
    Before 2012 a former coach regularly used racist language.
    During his second spell at Yorkshire between 2016 and 2018 there were jokes made around religion which made individuals uncomfortable about their religious practices.
    During his second spell at the club, a former player made references to Azeem Rafiq's weight and fitness that amounted to bullying.
    In August 2018, when Azeem Rafiq raised concerns of racism there was a failure by the club to follow its own policy or investigate these allegations.
    On a number of occasions prior to 2018 the club could have done more to make Muslims more welcome within their stadiums and should have dealt better with complaints of racist or anti-social behaviour within those stadiums.
    The report added that it "did not find that any decisions by the coaching staff or the Club, relating either to Azeem's inclusion within a team or his ultimate release from the Club was for anything other than cricketing reasons".

    In September 2020, Rafiq, who left Headingley in 2018, said in an interview with ESPN Cricinfo he felt he was made to feel like an "outsider" as a Muslim.

    The club launched an independent investigation conducted by a law firm Squire Patton Boggs.

    Yorkshire, who received the findings on 13 August, released a statement six days later which said Rafiq was "the victim of inappropriate behaviour" and offered him their "profound apologies".

    Rafiq responded by accusing the club of downplaying racism.

    The release of the findings on Friday comes after pressure from cricket's governing body and the MPs on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee.

    The England and Wales Cricket Board asked the club for a copy of the findings and on Wednesday MPs urged the club to publish the report "immediately".

    Recommendations

    The investigation has published a list of recommendations and steps the club should take next.

    These include a review of policies and discrimination complaints procedures, training on equality, diversity and inclusion for club employees, an open and fair recruitment process and better engagement with minority communities in Yorkshire.

    The panel also suggested the club "reach out to senior Asian ex professional players and community leaders to be role models and to foster a greater sense of trust and engagement".

    "Hopefully this investigation review and the recommendations will help cricket become more inclusive in its entirety for individuals whatever their nationality race religion gender age disability or experience," the report adds.

    The club said it would "now enthusiastically implement the panel's recommendations" and "will look to work with a broader group from diverse communities to further develop and improve our inclusivity, accessibility and sensitivity to the pulse of modern Britain".

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/58514665
    Last edited by MenInG; 10th September 2021 at 17:52.


    "When You Have Eliminated The Impossible, Whatever Remains, However Improbable, Must Be The Truth!

  2. #2
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    I mean was there ever any doubt?


    Hard to get a handle on this double edged sword

  3. #3
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    Halal food reason is very vague tbh.

  4. #4
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    Sad but not surprised at all, hope Azeem gets all the support moving forward

  5. #5
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    Horrific and sad that this happened to Azeem. A public apology from Yorkshire is not enough. Azeem should be compensated by YCCC for the emotional distress. There needs to be a comprehensive overhaul at the club in terms of how they support players of colour.

  6. #6
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    Azeem needs to be paid at least 2 million Euros. A public apology is not enough.

  7. #7
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    Complete Report:

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    Last edited by Saj; 10th September 2021 at 21:15.


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  8. #8
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  9. #9
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  10. #10
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  11. #11
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    Disgusting from YCB

    Those keyboard warriors who doubted Azeem allegations should be ashamed of themselves.

  12. #12
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    Interesting timing of releasing the report - just after the news about the 5th test being cancelled.

  13. #13
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    The release of the report coincided with the England/India Test for a reason.

    It's like in politics when when they release a supposed bad report/story into something at the end of the week as to to lower the criticism from the media and citizens.

  14. #14
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    Ian Watmore, ECB chair, said: “No one should have to experience racism or discrimination in cricket, and it is very concerning that the independent Panel has upheld a number of allegations and concluded that historically Azeem Rafiq was the victim of racial harassment and of bullying during his time at Yorkshire County Cricket Club. It is clear that the game owes him an apology and we are happy to offer that apology to him. There is simply no place for racism in cricket, and what Azeem experienced was unacceptable. The ECB has only seen the statement and summary report for the first time today, so we will now examine the contents in detail to decide what further action is required.”


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  15. #15
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    A spokesperson for Azeem Rafiq said:

    “We note that Yorkshire County Cricket Club has confirmed Azeem was the victim of racism and bullying during his two spells at Headingley.

    “However, we must highlight the atrocious way this process continues to be handled. Azeem was not given any notice of this morning’s statement – he received a copy only a couple of minutes before the media.

    “Azeem and his team are not in a position to properly understand the club’s conclusions and how they reached them, because Yorkshire has not provided a copy of the report. This is clearly unacceptable and an abuse of process.

    “What is clear is that Yorkshire County Cricket Club admits racism and bullying has taken place on many occasions, yet won’t accept the obvious – that this is an institutional problem.

    “We also note that Baroness Morgan, the former Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, has written to Yorkshire County Cricket Club in recent days demanding that Azeem see a full copy of the report. We further note the letter to Yorkshire from Julian Knight, the chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, on Wednesday. We welcome their interventions.



  16. #16
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    The only inquiry I have seen in the UK that ever reached some robust conclusions was the MacPerson Report, which confirmed that the British Met Police were an institutionally racist force. From basic training onwards, this report is often referred back to as the benchmark for setting an improved standard of policing.

    All of the other “inquiries” out there, including the one in the OP, seem to admit that yes there were a few bad apples but also decide that there were/are no institutional issues present.

    This isn’t really dealing with the problem(s) at hand, and these flaky token reports only serve to whitewash deeply embedded issues of racism in the British institutions.

  17. #17
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    Well, this racism is the same in Pakistan too against other minorities. For example, like aimed at Danesh Kaneria by Pakistani players who refused to eat with him. It is ingrained in human nature.

  18. #18
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    From Professional Cricketers Association:

    It is with deep regret that Yorkshire County Cricket Club’s independent investigation has shown that Azeem Rafiq has been victim of racial harassment and bullying with a number of allegations made by Rafiq being upheld.

    Despite requests to obtain the report, the PCA received Roger Hutton’s statement and summary of the Panel’s report and recommendations on Friday morning, minutes before it was made public.

    The PCA has remained in regular dialogue with Rafiq throughout the process during what has been an extremely distressing time. The PCA applauds Rafiq and the great courage he has shown in speaking out about his experiences. There is simply no place for racism in cricket, and what Rafiq experienced was unacceptable and the game owes him an apology.

    The PCA continue to offer support to any members who have suffered with discrimination and bullying in our role of representing professional cricketers in England and Wales.

    In light of these findings, the PCA has only seen the report for the first time today, so we will now thoroughly review the contents in consultation with our Board.

    PCA Chief Executive, Rob Lynch, said:

    “This outcome highlights the need for not just Yorkshire CCC but the whole game to continue to educate and learn about inclusive behaviours to eradicate all forms of racism and discrimination from cricket and this is a responsibility the PCA takes very seriously.

    “In July 2020 the PCA created an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Working Group with an aim to ensure professional cricketers work in an inclusive environment protected from discrimination where every player is actively supported and included, and has the knowledge and support necessary to challenge any form of discrimination.

    “This work is ongoing and as an organisation we are committed to doing everything we can to ensure no one has to experience the ordeal Azeem has endured in cricket.”
    Last edited by Saj; 10th September 2021 at 22:42.



  19. #19
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    I wonder what the people here who were claiming Azeem was making it all up to get attention and deflect from his "failures" have to say now.

    The least they can do is admit they were wrong and that they made an ignorant choice accusing someone they didn't even know personally, of essentially lying.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    Horrific and sad that this happened to Azeem. A public apology from Yorkshire is not enough. Azeem should be compensated by YCCC for the emotional distress. There needs to be a comprehensive overhaul at the club in terms of how they support players of colour.
    Emotional and financial compensation

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedwoodOriginal View Post
    I wonder what the people here who were claiming Azeem was making it all up to get attention and deflect from his "failures" have to say now.

    The least they can do is admit they were wrong and that they made an ignorant choice accusing someone they didn't even know personally, of essentially lying.
    Being in UK I can tell you the hard core truth this being faced pretty much by every minority in every profession and only reported and challenged by 0.01 percent.
    The consequences of whistle blowing are so harsh that majority keeps silent for the risk of financial loss!!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashraful_Rox View Post
    Azeem needs to be paid at least 2 million Euros. A public apology is not enough.
    Well his prime motive from day 1 has been to make money out of this, so that would certainly serve his purpose and achieve his goal.

    He hasn’t played professional cricket for a while and he was pretty rubbish at it when he did, so he is probably low on finances and needs to milk this story like an Australian cow in spring.

    Nevertheless, no sympathies for him at all after this:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azeem_Rafiq

    Rafiq was captain for the England U-19 squad in the 2010 World Cup,[7] but was dropped for the second England Under-19 Test against Sri Lanka for breaking mid-match curfews; he responded by publishing a strongly worded attack against coach John Abrahams on his Twitter account, deleting them once he realised they were made public.[8]

    ECB should have banned him for life this or at least Yorkshire should have kicked him out.
    Last edited by MenInG; 11th September 2021 at 11:11.

  23. #23
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    This is truly shocking and I am utterly appalled. The use of the word ‘P**i’ is dismissed by the report as friendly banter. Further unambiguous racism is also described as friendly banter such as this: "don't talk to him [Rafiq], he's a P**i", asking "is that your uncle?" when they saw bearded Asian men and saying "does your dad own those?"

    The perpetrators are believed when they say they did not know they were causing offence, despite “admitting recalling that Rafiq broke down in tears at one point, the player insisted he had no idea he was causing offence and would have stopped if Rafiq had asked.”

    And then, as if to really show how little they care for such racist behaviour, the report authors have the audacity to accuse “Rafiq of using "offensive, racially derogatory comments" when referring to a player of Zimbabwean heritage as "Zimbo from Zimbabwe" and that “were Rafiq still a Yorkshire player, he should face disciplinary action for using it.” In saying this, the panel would have known that they were “ equating the terms 'P**i', which is a long-established derogatory term with a history of racist usage, and 'Zimbo', which is generally held to be an abbreviation akin to Aussie or Kiwi without pejorative association”.

    This is so so shocking. We must all stand up to this and make our feelings known to those in charge. A cover up doesn’t even begin to tell the story here and it seems that the set up at Yorkshire is institutionally racist.
    Last edited by Last Monetarist; 1st November 2021 at 15:13.

  24. #24
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    Former Yorkshire chairman Colin Graves has told the BBC he has backed crucial changes to the club's rules, and that the county "needs to move on".

    The England and Wales Cricket Board says the reforms must be approved if lucrative international hosting rights are to be reinstated at Headingley.

    The club were banned from hosting major matches in November over their handling of the Azeem Rafiq racism scandal.

    Yorkshire potentially risked bankruptcy if the hosting rights had not returned.

    The club are hoping to pass the changes at an extraordinary general meeting on 31 March, which they were forced to cancel earlier this month after discovering it had not been properly called.

    It emerged that the club's former leadership had failed to file amended club rules with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

    Another former Yorkshire chairman, Robin Smith, told the Yorkshire Post it meant Lord Patel's appointment as the new chairman in November was "invalid".

    But Lord Patel said a group of individuals was "actively seeking to delay and derail" reform.

    "As a Yorkshire vice-president and member I have voted to support the changes as outlined by YCCC to its members," Graves told BBC Sport.

    "I really hope that the legal advice taken by the club on these issues is sound and solid.

    "The club now needs to move on, and get back to staging International matches and playing cricket at the highest level in England and Wales.

    "The talent that Yorkshire continues to produce is outstanding, as shown in the recent West Indies Test match where four out of 11 players came through the Yorkshire academy."

    The reforms to Yorkshire's constitution would put eight independent directors on its board and confirm Lord Patel's position as chairman.

    Last month he said Yorkshire faced a "huge financial crisis" if the ban was not lifted, and that regaining international status was key to planned reforms.

    To ensure the club can host the third Test against New Zealand and the third one-day international against South Africa this summer, the club must meet two remaining criteria by 31 March:

    Resolve issues relating to rules changes and decisions at the club which have been subject to procedural flaws.
    Amend club rules relating to the appointment and operation of the board, including the removal of Graves Trust powers.
    Yorkshire have proposed changing their rules to remove the need for written approval from the trustees of the Graves Trust, a major creditor of the club, in order to appoint or remove board members.

    The Graves Trust is reported to be owed £15m by Yorkshire, with its affairs overseen by a group of trustees. Graves himself is independent of the trust, which he claims "has no say in the running of the club".

    Graves was also ECB Chairman between 2015 and 2020.

    Lord Patel's immediate predecessor as Yorkshire chairman Roger Hutton claimed in November that the trust had vetoed the sacking of chief executive Mark Arthur and director of cricket Martyn Moxon, who have both since left the club.

    In a statement the ECB said it was "deeply concerned about reports of division at Yorkshire CCC".

    It added: "Given all that we have heard from Azeem and others about the club, it has been absolutely clear that reform is needed. Lord Patel has set out a significant and serious plan to make Yorkshire CCC a modern and diverse club capable of representing and engaging all communities in Yorkshire.

    "We want to see all parties work together to support Lord Patel in the reform package he has set out. It is not acceptable for anyone to stand in the way of progress at YCCC."

    In September 2021 a report by Yorkshire found Rafiq, who played for the club between 2008 and 2018, was a victim of "racial harassment and bullying".

    The club originally said no-one would be disciplined.

    Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee chair Julian Knight said it was "right" for Yorkshire to regain England matches "on the strict proviso that key governance reforms are voted through".

    He added: "Lord Patel needs the support of the ECB and the wider cricket community in his battle to change Yorkshire's culture and I'm pleased that this seems to be happening."

    BBC
    Last edited by MenInG; 23rd March 2022 at 22:25.


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  25. #25
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    The Members of Yorkshire County Cricket Club tonight overwhelmingly passed three special resolutions at an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) held in the Long Room at Headingley.

    The Club can now continue to drive the right approach through essential governance reforms and meets conditions set by the England & Wales Cricket Board for the return of International and major matches at their ground.

    178 Members were in attendance at the EGM and over 1100 Members registered votes either in person, electronically or via proxy. The results of the voting on EGM resolutions were:

    o Resolution 1 was passed with 85% of votes in favour: 1109 votes were cast with 932 for, 155 against and 22 abstentions.

    o Resolution 2 was passed with 83% of votes in favour: 1107 votes were cast with 897 for, 182 against and 28 abstentions.

    o Resolution 3 was passed 85% of votes in favour: 1105 votes were cast with 927 for 159 against and 19 abstentions.

    Reacting to the agreed resolutions, Lord Kamlesh Patel, Chair of YCCC, said:

    “We welcome the outcome of this EGM and thank the Members for their full and proper consideration, an open exchange of views, and their votes.

    “It is an overwhelming vote for positive change.

    “This support will help Yorkshire County Cricket Club to be an inclusive and welcoming place and gives us the clarity and certainty we need to keep building this great club.

    “Yorkshire has now met the ECB’s conditions for the return of international cricket and, working with them, we’ll deliver some great events here at Headingley this summer.

    “We’re looking forward to the start of the season, for all our teams and for cricket at all levels right across this County.”

    Up to six non-executive directors can now be appointed to the Board, better reflecting the communities the Club serves, whilst the Membership can ensure a strong voice on the Board with two representatives invited to join. All nominees will be presented to Members for approval at the upcoming AGM.

    Yorkshire’s ground will play host to England men’s LV=Insurance Test against New Zealand from Thursday 27 June and the final match of the Royal London Series against South Africa on Sunday 24 July.


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  26. #26
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    ECB statement following tonight’s EGM at Yorkshire CCC

    An ECB spokesperson said:

    “We are pleased that Yorkshire members have given their overwhelming support to these reforms. This is an important step forward in bringing about real change and setting the club on course for a more inclusive future.

    “We welcome the progress made by Lord Patel so far, as well as his commitment to making the club one which everyone, from all backgrounds, can be proud of.

    With these governance reforms now having been passed, we are satisfied that international cricket can now be staged at Headingley this summer. However, there is much work still to be done at Yorkshire and it is important that the plans set out so far are now delivered. We will continue to monitor progress closely.

    “Our regulatory investigation into the complaints brought by Azeem Rafiq, which is separate to this process, remains ongoing and we will update on this in due course.”

  27. #27
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    Yorkshire County Cricket Club have announced a new two-year sponsorship deal with India media firm Clean Slate Studio to take over as principal sponsor at Headingley.

    Last year, former player Azeem Rafiq spoke out about years of racism he had suffered at the club prompting fundamental change at Yorkshire and an unprecedented review across cricket.

    Rafiq told Sky News the new name at Headingley made him smile: "I just laughed, the timing, everything - I just thought it just fitted perfectly.

    "It is a clean slate... the name is one thing, but it is everything else from now on that happens that is important.

    "There's a lot of good primary schools around Headingley and a big diverse community.

    "I just want them to be able to walk past Headingley and look at Headingley and think this is my club."

    A ban on hosting international cricket at Headingley was recently lifted by the England and Wales Cricket Board, while Yorkshire CCC members overwhelmingly voted in favour of structural changes required by the ECB at an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) held on Friday.

    Resolution 1 will see Lord Patel and Mr Hudson formally appointed to the Board for an "infinite period." Resolution 2 will "release the directors from liability resulting from the invalidity of their actions or appointment since November 5, 2021." Resolution 3 confirms board composition including the "appointment of non-executive directors, the ex-officio board membership of the chief executive officer and the managing director of cricket and the ability to appoint up to two club members to the board, while providing for membership oversight over non-executive directors board membership."

    Yorkshire demonstrated they had made significant progress addressing the problems that Rafiq had highlighted. As a result, England will host a Test match against New Zealand at the ground in June and a one-day international against South Africa in July.

    Yorkshire's suspension from staging international Test cricket has been lifted by the ECB, subject to conditions regarding the running of the club.

    Previous stadium sponsors Emerald Publishing were one of a series of commercial partners who cut ties with Yorkshire at the height of the scandal last autumn, plunging the club into a financial crisis which threatened the future of the club.

    As part of the new sponsorship, the main pavilion at Headingley will be known as the 'Clean Slate Pavilion' and the name will appear on club kit of Yorkshire and the Northern Diamonds.

    Clean Slate say their mission is to challenge gender stereotypes in Indian film and they want to help make Headingley "a flagbearer for inclusivity and diversity in cricket".

    New Yorkshire chairman Lord Patel and managing director of cricket Darren Gough are both in Mumbai to launch the partnership with Clean Slate founder Karnesh Ssharma, with Lord Patel saying: "This new partnership - with a vibrant Indian brand that knows how to entertain diverse communities - is an exciting step for Yorkshire.

    "Our proud club has a great future, welcoming everyone into our ground and this game."

    Clean Slate founder Ssharma said: "We're incredibly proud to partner with Yorkshire and to be the first Indian company to have their name prominently featured within a UK sports ground.

    "Clean Slate puts inclusivity and diversity at the fore of its entertainment roster, and we truly believe that our entertainment vision and values align with that of Yorkshire County Cricket Club moving forward."

    https://www.skysports.com/cricket/ne...onsorship-deal


    ==


    Founded by Mrs Kohli. Surely some sort of conflict in interest. India benefitting greatly from the scandal
    Last edited by MenInG; 5th April 2022 at 21:18.

  28. #28
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    Yorkshire interim director of cricket Darren Gough said the club has a "once-in-a-generation chance" to become a "leading light" in the English game.

    Gough was appointed in place of Martyn Moxon until the end of the 2022 season last December.

    Moxon was one of 16 people to leave the club after a report found former player Azeem Rafiq was a victim of "racial harassment and bullying".

    Gough has told the BBC that Yorkshire can "set an example".

    "To do this, I think is the biggest challenge," former Yorkshire and England bowler Gough told BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra.

    "Taking over when I have and under the circumstances. I'm doing this because I love it.

    "The game, and sport in general, is under the spotlight. This is a once-in-a-generation chance to shape something that can be a leading light for every other county to follow."

    Lord Patel became Yorkshire's chairman after Roger Hutton resigned last November during widespread criticism of how the club handled the Rafiq case, and Gough says the club have "the right people for the job".

    "The people we have got in place are there because they 100% deserve that opportunity to have that job," added Gough. "They are the right people for the job, for the right reasons and they've been the best in the interview process.

    "One of the things I've always said about cricket - and I can say this from when I've been out of the game - is that it's a bit too matey.

    "You look around at the county system at other clubs and you look at people who are in certain jobs at certain clubs and they are in that job probably for the wrong reason.

    "They're not in there because they are the right person for the job. We have got that opportunity now - because of what the club has been through - to set that example."

    Gough made his debut for Yorkshire in 1989 and was part of the squad which won the 2001 County Championship - the club's first victory in 33 years.

    He left to join Essex in 2004 before returning to Yorkshire as captain in 2007.

    Gough said he has "empathy" for some of the club's employees that lost their jobs, but added "we have all been educated over the last 12 months".

    "It was difficult for me," said Gough. "I knew all the people that lost their jobs and I have huge empathy for them because some of them are close friends.

    "The players have learnt a lot, but they've still got a lot of questions, as you would expect," he said. "I've got a lot of questions and I'm learning every day.

    "But it's important we all go in the same direction together and we all try to make cricket more understanding of what it's been through, especially this last few years.

    "There's no hiding from it. I was shell-shocked when I took over and I saw the way the players were. I've never seen a team like that.

    "Their friends had lost their jobs. They were upset, of course. I totally understand that and they've still got questions they want answering. It will all come out as we move along.

    "They've just got to focus on what they can. We've given them the best opportunity to be able to play cricket."

    BBC


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  29. #29
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    Fingers crossed that Gough takes the club forward. It’s going to be a long road back to respectability for Yorkshire CCC.

  30. #30
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    The community needs to remove its own prejudice before the fight against injustice can begin

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpiritOf1903 View Post
    The community needs to remove its own prejudice before the fight against injustice can begin.
    This is one way of looking at it, whereas another could be that Yorkshire CCC themselves can turn a corner and go on to lead the way by becoming role models for anti-racism in their community.

  32. #32
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    A minority at Yorkshire believe "nothing was wrong" at the club, despite sweeping reforms amid the racism scandal, says chair Lord Patel.

    Structural changes were overwhelmingly approved last month following the treatment of former player Azeem Rafiq.

    The club was heavily criticised after a report found Rafiq was a victim of "racial harassment and bullying".

    Patel said: "There is a very small minority who believe nothing was wrong here and wish to return to those days.

    "That is my fear, that those people continue to believe that."

    Patel, who was appointed in November when the scandal engulfed cricket, said "85% of members" voted for the reforms.

    The changes meant Yorkshire could host international matches again, having met criteria set out by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). In November, the ECB suspended the club's right to stage England games in response to the outcome of the report.

    Before the emergency meeting of members, Patel said a group of individuals was "actively seeking to delay and derail" reform at Yorkshire.

    Speaking to the BBC during Yorkshire's County Championship match against Lancashire at Headingley on Friday, Patel added: "I have met thousands of people here who are genuine, good people who want to do the right thing.

    "You have to believe the majority of people here want to do the right thing and go in the right direction."

    Rafiq, 31, was born in Pakistan and moved to England aged 10 before playing for Yorkshire between 2008 and 2018.

    However, in September 2020, following an initial interview with Wisden, Rafiq told ESPN Cricinfo that "institutional racism" encountered while he was at the club left him close to taking his own life.

    He told BBC Sport he dreaded "every second" of his career and a team-mate used a racially offensive term linked to his Pakistani heritage.

    Yorkshire initially said no-one would be disciplined.

    Director of cricket Martyn Moxon, head coach Andrew Gale and all members of the coaching staff were among 16 people to leave Yorkshire under the new regime in December.

    Although the club is now able to host men's England matches against New Zealand and South Africa this summer, it is still awaiting the results of a separate ECB regulatory investigation.

    BBC


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  33. #33
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    Not a surprise, plenty of idiots on social media who reply to the posts will act like nothing was wrong at Yorkshire and it was all made up by “woke people”.

  34. #34
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    The Yorkshire County Cricket Club is delighted to announce six new additions to the Board following its AGM on Saturday at Headingley.

    Lucy Amos, Leslie Ferrar, Nolan Hough, Yaseen Mohammed, Kavita Singh and Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson were all overwhelmingly elected by Members in attendance at the meeting and those who voted in advance.

    Lucy Amos is an expert in brand positioning and communications, overseeing social media for Disney across 16 EMEA territories and its UK business. Responsibilities also include handling Crisis Communications on social media as well as being the ED&I lead for digital, ensuring that the brand is inclusive internally and externally across its social media and digital communications.

    Leslie Ferrar has extensive experience as a non-executive director with particular focus on corporate governance, audit committees and management of risk. Working at KPMG for nearly 30 years after qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, Ferrar has since worked for The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, managing their finance, human resource, IT and legal functions as well as looking after their corporate initiatives such as Highgrove Enterprises and Dumfries House.

    Nolan Hough is a lifelong cricket fan who has held senior commercial roles with brand leaders, including Manchester United and Manchester Airports Group. After growing up in South Africa, Hough has seen how the power of sport can help to provide hope and inspire communities.

    Yaseen Mohammed is a member of Yorkshire who has already given so much to the local cricket community, chairing the Board of Park Avenue Bradford and serving as a Trustee for the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation. Away from cricket, Mohammed has held senior public and private sector roles, now leading a development consultancy business which he established ten years ago.

    Kavita Singh is a Yorkshire member and resident of Huddersfield who plays women’s cricket for Blackley CC in Halifax. Away from the cricket field, Singh has been a solicitor for 30 years with significant Board level and leadership experience after graduating with a law degree from Cambridge University. A key focus in Singh’s professional career has been advising organisations on best practices relating to governance.

    Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE, DL is one of Britain’s great Paralympic athletes, winning 11 gold, four silver and one bronze Paralympic medals. After retiring from sport, Baroness Grey-Thompson has held various roles in the sport sector and spent 12 years working in politics on a range of issues, including an independent review for government - Duty of Care in Sport. Baroness Grey-Thompson also sits on a number of Boards and charities, using her extensive experience of sports governance, restructuring and building boards, and grant management.

    Lord Kamlesh Patel, The Yorkshire County Cricket Club’s Chair said: “An extremely strong field of candidates applied for these six non-executive director positions - we were truly spoilt for choice. These six candidates were recommended to the members for appointment after a rigorous, robust and fair selection process.

    “I’m delighted to welcome as colleagues six individuals who bring a wide variety of skills, talent, experiences and knowledge to the governance of The Yorkshire County Cricket Club at a crucial time in the Club’s history. Our collective aim as a Board is to lead transformational change at the Club, and act as a beacon for the game as a whole; so that cricket truly becomes a game for everyone, in twenty-first century Yorkshire and across the country.”

    Other votes passed on the day were the re-election of Geoff Cope as Club President and Pauline Beesley onto the Members’ Committee. Outgoing Non-Executive Director Neil Hartley was also recognised by being elected a Vice-President for his considerable contribution to Yorkshire Cricket and Charlotte Evers was presented with the President’s Medal.


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  35. #35
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    Yorkshire have launched a full investigation into the drunken fan disorder that marred a cricket match at Headingley on Friday evening, after videos on social media showed fans excessively drinking and seemingly fighting with security staff.

    In the widely-shared footage taken from the Western Terrace, a clearly drunken spectator was urged to drink 'one more pint' by fans around him. He obliged, but then pitched forward and slumped head-first into the row of seats in front of him.

    The scenes of beer-fuelled drama broke out in the stands while the Vikings faced Durham, and the man who took the tumble is said to have downed 12 pints in 10 minutes. He was later removed on a stretcher by stewards amid unsightly scenes.

    And now, the club have confirmed in a statement that they will be looking into the matter, with 'appropriate action' to be taken against those involved.

    'The Club is aware of an issue with a group of supporters drinking excessively at Friday night's match and strongly condemns such behaviour,' it read.

    'Measures have been introduced to ensure that spectators are able to enjoy the game and drink in moderation, however, the footage that has been circulated shows behaviour that is simply unacceptable.

    'The Club will not tolerate such behaviour and has launched a full investigation where appropriate action will be taken against those concerned.

    'Cricket is a game for all and anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated.'

    Another angle of the individual in question shows him seated near other baying fans, many of whom were calling for him to continue his boozing. He was able to get his hands on yet another pint cup, and even attempted to build up the atmosphere.

    The spectator then turned around, finished the drink and fell over onto a chair.

    While the small section of fans laughed, just one person checked on his wellbeing.

    Disturbingly, the footage then cut to a group of friends brawling with members of security, also in the Western Terrace.

    Along a line of seats, stewards were forced to step in and break up fans to prevent the situation escalating, with tensions high.

    Afterwards, the first drunken fan was carried away by paramedics, with police officers also on hand. Again, those around him chose to see the humourous side.

    The stand has been notorious for antics over the years.

    As far back as 2009, former England captain Nasser Hussain said that he wouldn't take his family there, and labelled the rabble-rousers as 'alcohol-fuelled yobs'.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/sp...eadingley.html


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  36. #36
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    Western Terrace is best avoided. Absolute chaos over there even on a good day. I might have fancied a crack at it in my fevered youth, but when I go to Headingley nowadays with my wife and kids I sit as far away from the drunkards as possible lol. Thankfully there is a Family Stand!

  37. #37
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    Former Yorkshire head coach Andrew Gale wins unfair dismissal claim against club

    Yorkshire’s former head coach Andrew Gale has won an unfair dismissal claim against the club after he was sacked in the wake of the Azeem Rafiq scandal.

    An employment judge ruled that Gale and five other former members of Yorkshire’s staff had a “well founded” case in a decision published this week and said the matter will now move on to what remedies can be agreed or imposed.

    But the club issued a statement on Wednesday saying that, while it acknowledges the judge’s view “that no disciplinary process was followed”, there has been no judgment on the reasons for the dismissals and “the club’s firm view is that the dismissals were necessary and justified”.

    Gale, 38, was one of 16 members of staff sacked in the wake of the controversy which engulfed Yorkshire following accusations by bowler Rafiq which rocked English cricket.

    Yorkshire last year accepted Rafiq had been subjected to racial harassment and bullying but initially elected against taking any action against their employees, leading to widespread criticism.

    This week’s decision by employment judge Joanna Wade also involves bowling coach Rich Pyrah, academy lead Richard Damms, second-team coach Ian Dews, and strength and conditioning coaches Ian Fisher and Peter Sim.

    The judge said in a brief judgment: “The claimants’ complaints of unfair dismissal are well founded.”

    She added: “Remedy and any other complaints proceed to hearing unless otherwise resolved.”

    There were no further details in the decision which was made on May 23 following a private hearing but only published on Tuesday.

    Yorkshire County Cricket Club said in a statement: “The club acknowledges the judgment that no disciplinary process was followed, which it has accepted in order to minimise the tribunal time taken up by these cases.

    “At this preliminary stage, the tribunal has not made any judgment on the reasons for dismissal and the club’s firm view is that the dismissals were necessary and justified.”

    Gale played for Yorkshire as a batsman for more than a decade before becoming first-team coach in 2016.

    He was suspended in November after a tweet emerged which he posted in 2010.

    The widespread condemnation of Yorkshire over their treatment of Rafiq had huge repercussions for the club last year, including a flood of departures of staff and directors as well as sponsors pulling out and their Headingley Stadium in Leeds being stripped of its lucrative international fixtures.

    The fallout provoked widespread debate about the extent of racism within the game as a whole.

    In December, the club announced a clear-out of their entire coaching team, including Gale and long-serving director of cricket Martyn Moxon.

    Gale stated at the time he would take legal action over his dismissal, saying in a statement to BBC Sport: “The decision has come as a surprise to me. The players knew about it before I did and I will be fighting the decision legally.”

    These departures followed those of club president Roger Hutton and chief executive Mark Arthur.

    Both Gale and Moxon had been heavily criticised at a Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) hearing at Westminster as Rafiq repeated his call for them to step down from their roles at the club.

    Lord Patel was installed as the new chairman of the club six months ago and tasked with overseeing wholesale cultural and structural changes.

    Last month, Lord Patel saluted “an overwhelming vote for positive change” as reforms were approved by club members to pave the way for Headingley to stage England matches this summer.

    Hosting internationals provides a significant chunk of Yorkshire’s revenue and Headingley will now host England in a Test against New Zealand later this month and South Africa in a one-day international in July.

    https://uk.sports.yahoo.com/news/for...111411065.html


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  38. #38
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    Interesting — would like to know some more details about the above case — but unlikely to be publicly available I guess.

  39. #39
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    Yorkshire County Cricket Club and a number of individuals have today been charged following an ECB investigation into racism and other allegations at the Club and its handling of those allegations.

    The charges arise from alleged breaches of ECB Directive 3.3 (conduct which is improper or which may be prejudicial to the interests of cricket or which may bring the ECB, the game of cricket or any cricketer into disrepute) and the ECB Anti-Discrimination Code.

    An independent panel of the Cricket Discipline Commission will hear the cases in due course.

    The ECB’s investigation has been thorough and complex, with the allegations covering a significant period of time and a number of witnesses and other individuals coming forward to share their own experiences and allegations. The ECB is grateful to all those who have taken the time to speak with the investigating team.

    In matters of this nature, our normal practice is not to identify individuals charged at this stage. This decision is taken on a case-by-case basis. It is however standard practice for the CDC disciplinary panel to publish its decisions and written reasons in full following the hearing.

    There will be no further comment until the hearing has taken place and the decisions published. We currently expect the hearing to take place in September or October 2022.


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  40. #40
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    Statement from Azeem Rafiq:

    “I welcome today’s announcement by the ECB and hope we can move to the hearing quickly. This has been another gruelling but unfortunately necessary process. It has been a long two years since I went public about my experiences, but I hope this all means that no young player ever goes through such pain and alienation again.

    “My preference would be for this hearing to take place publicly, but I am hopeful that we are at least nearing a point where there will be some sense of closure for my family and me.”


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  41. #41
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    CLUB STATEMENT: Cricket Disciplinary Committee

    The Yorkshire County Cricket Club (YCCC) has just received the long-expected notification of the charges and evidence resulting from the Cricket Disciplinary Commission’s (CDC) investigation into past failings at YCCC and is reviewing it.

    For clarity, YCCC notes that the allegations relate to charges as far back as 2004 up until 2021 and the Club will need the cooperation of those in position during this time in order to fully consider and respond to the matters raised.

    Unless and until that cooperation by those with first-hand knowledge and responsibility during the relevant period is forthcoming, the Club is not able to comment on the investigation, evidence, report or charges but will, of course, continue to fully cooperate with the CDC throughout this process.


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  42. #42
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    Heads will roll for this.

    Seems Yorks just cannot shake this issue off!


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  43. #43
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    It'll be interesting to see what the charges and punishment is.

    I sincerely hope it's not just a slap on the wrist and suspended fines etc.



  44. #44
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    David Willey:



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  45. #45
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    Yorkshire County Cricket Club and a number of noted former England cricketers including Michael Vaughan were charged by the England and Wales Cricket Board after the governing body's investigation into alleged racism at the club. The ECB did not name any of the people involved in a statement issued on Wednesday but English daily The MailPlus reported some of the high-profile names included former England captain Vaughan, Matthew Hoggard, Tim Bresnan, Gary Ballance and former head coach Andrew Gale

    The ECB's investigation followed allegations of racism made by former Yorkshire player Azeem Rafiq, who alleged racial discrimination at the cricket club in September 2020. The ECB said it had carried out a "thorough and complex" investigation to establish the grounds for the charges against both the county and the individuals involved.

    "Yorkshire County Cricket Club and a number of individuals have today been charged following an ECB investigation into racism and other allegations at the club and its handling of those allegations," ECB said in a statement.

    None of the cricketers booked on non-criminal charges is actively playing cricket but they could be barred from entering grounds if found guilty said the report.

    "Sanctions available to the CDC include: a caution on future conduct; a reprimand; an unlimited fine; playing bans; suspension of selection eligibility for matches; suspension or termination of registration; and completion of education programmes. But Sportsmail understands potential punishment could extend to denial of entrance to grounds for those found guilty," the report added.

    The charges arise from alleged breaches of ECB Directive 3.3 (conduct which is improper or which may be prejudicial to the interests of cricket or which may bring the ECB, the game of cricket or any cricketer into disrepute) and the ECB Anti-Discrimination Code. An independent panel of the Cricket Discipline Commission will hear the cases in due course."

    The ECB said the allegations cover a "significant period of time" and a number of witnesses and other individuals have come forward to share their own experiences and accusations.

    "In matters of this nature, our normal practice is not to identify individuals charged at this stage. This decision is taken on a case-by-case basis," it said, adding that the hearing in the case is expected to take place in September or October this year.

    In response to the ECB's charges, Yorkshire said it is reviewing them and will cooperate with the Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC).

    "For clarity, YCCC notes that the allegations relate to charges as far back as 2004 up until 2021 and the Club will need the cooperation of those in position during this time in order to fully consider and respond to the matters raised," the club said.

    Rafiq issued a statement to say he welcomed the ECB announcement and is looking forward to getting closure on the matter.

    "This has been another gruelling but unfortunately necessary process. It has been a long two years since I went public about my experiences, but I hope this all means that no young player ever goes through such pain and alienation again."My preference would be for this hearing to take place publicly, but I am hopeful that we are at least nearing a point where there will be some sense of closure for my family and me," he said.

    In September 2020, Rafiq alleged "institutional racism" at Yorkshire had left him close to taking his own life. The club launched "a formal investigation" in response and an independent panel upheld some of the allegations.

    The 31-year-old former cricketer also went on to give testimony to the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee about his experience at the club across two spells between 2008 and 2014 and 2016 to 2018.

    https://www.hindustantimes.com/crick...352530816.html


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  46. #46
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    Name:  WhatsApp Image 2022-06-16 at 11.47.56 AM.jpg
Views: 206
Size:  14.2 KB

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by silentkiller187 View Post
    Name:  WhatsApp Image 2022-06-16 at 11.47.56 AM.jpg
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    So Azeem's name leaked but no other names have been disclosed. As expected some doing their best to tarnish his name.
    Last edited by Saj; 16th June 2022 at 23:03.



  48. #48
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    An amateur cricketer has been ordered to stop wearing a jumper emblazoned with "no room for racism in cricket" by league bosses.

    Haider Rasool, who plays for the Rockingham Colliery club, said he was shocked at the order in light of recent events in the sport.

    Yorkshire Cricket Southern Premier League said it backed his message but it has a blanket ban on slogans.

    His team has since put the message on one of its boundary signs.

    Mr Rasool said he had wanted to spread the message and had worn the jumper without problems while playing in other leagues.



    Given the allegations of racism at Yorkshire County Cricket Club, he said, he was surprised that clubs across the county did not want to spread the anti-racism message "loud and clear".

    "Why was it under dispute?" he said.

    "Wearing something that's an awareness. It's not a slogan, it's part of Kick It Out.

    "Kick it Out is famous for using it in football. So you watch Premier League games and it says 'No room for racism in football', so I didn't see a problem with it."

    The league originally threatened to deduct points from the team, but has decided not to.

    It has declined to comment, however in an email sent to Mr Rasool seen by the BBC the league said: "We all agree with the sentiments expressed on your jersey, that is not the point."

    It continued: "If we allow your slogan how can we then deny someone else the right to express another view that might be more controversial or potentially offensive to others?"

    Richard Skipworth, director of cricket at the Barnsley team said everybody at the club supported Mr Rasool.

    "It hasn't been difficult at all in terms of us wanting to stand by his message," he said.

    He added; "What we want to do now is to find a way around and we want to stop any bad feeling, any ill-feeling."

    The club is now placing a sign with the message on the boundary fence.

    On Wednesday, cricket's governing body, the England and Wales Cricket Board, brought charges against "a number of individuals" at Yorkshire County Cricket Club in relation to allegations of racism.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-...shire-61826189


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  49. #49
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    Yorkshire dwellers may be about to experience the final Test match at Headingley for quite some time.

    We may have to start travelling further afield to see live Test cricket.

    Durham or Nottingham perhaps.

    Never Manchester. Lol

  50. #50
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    One of the most high-profile players in Scottish cricket history is believed to be among the individuals charged by the ECB following the investigation into allegations of racism at Yorkshire County Cricket Club.

    John Blain, a pace bowler who represented his country 118 times and claimed 188 wickets, played for the Headingley side then coached their 2nd XI and academy teams. He was inducted into the Cricket Scotland Hall of Fame in 2019, with the governing body describing him as “undoubtedly one of the most successful and influential Scottish cricketers of the last three decades”.

    Azeem Rafiq, the former Yorkshire player whose testimony sparked the ECB investigation, told the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport Committee last year that Blain had “humiliated me by shouting at me in front of everyone and telling the umpire, ‘get him off the ground now’.”

    Majiq Haq, Scotland’s all-time leading wicket-taker whose own testimony brought about a separate and ongoing independent review of racism in Scottish cricket, reacted to Rafiq’s comments on social media, saying: “That definitely sounds like how the John Blain who I played with @CricketScotland would behave. Definitely liked to embarrass and humiliate people in a group and was at times a bully.”

    While the ECB has not publicly named the seven individuals charged with bringing the game into disrepute through the use of racist and discriminatory language, four former England players — Michael Vaughan, Matthew Hoggard, Gary Ballance and Tim Bresnan — are understood to be among the number, along with former Yorkshire captain and coach Andrew Gale, former Yorkshire player and coach Richard Pyrah and Blain, 43.

    The cases are due to be heard by the ECB’s Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC) in September or October.

    In a statement last night, Cricket Scotland said: “Cricket Scotland wholeheartedly condemns racist and discriminatory language and behaviour — it has no place in our sport and anyone proven to have engaged in this behaviour will be dealt with accordingly in due course.”

    Blain was approached for comment, as was Grange Cricket Club, the Edinburgh side where he is director of cricket.

    Sanctions available to the CDC include: a caution on future conduct; a reprimand; an unlimited fine; playing bans; suspension of selection eligibility for matches; suspension or termination of registration; and completion of education programmes. It has been reported that the CDC could move to issue bans on entering cricket grounds to any individuals found guilty at the hearings.

    Rafiq, 31, said: “I am hopeful there will be some sense of closure for my family and me.”

    The Times
    Last edited by MenInG; 18th June 2022 at 15:50.


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  51. #51
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    Former Yorkshire chairman Roger Hutton has criticised the England and Wales Cricket Board's "deeply disappointing" handling of the club's racism scandal.

    Last week, the governing body opened disciplinary proceedings against the county and some individuals following its own investigation.

    But Hutton said the process had been "poor" and questioned its independence.

    The former chairman said he was dismayed the ECB's own conduct during the affair had not been investigated.

    The ECB declined to comment.

    Last week, the governing body said it had completed what it called a "thorough and complex" investigation.

    Details of racial abuse at Yorkshire first surfaced in September 2020 when former player Azeem Rafiq said discrimination left him feeling suicidal.

    Yorkshire launched "a formal investigation" in response and, a year later, an independent panel upheld seven of the 43 allegations made by Rafiq.

    However, the panel's report was not published and no player, employee or executive faced disciplinary action as a result of its findings.

    The outcome sparked widespread criticism and in November 2021 the ECB suspended Yorkshire from hosting international matches at Headingley "until it has clearly demonstrated that it can meet the standards expected". Then-chairman Hutton stepped down, as did chief executive Mark Arthur.

    The ECB restored Yorkshire's right to host England Test matches after governance reforms and an overhaul of staff. It then completed what it called a "thorough and complex" investigation to establish the grounds for the charges against both the county and the individuals involved.

    But Hutton - who was critical of the ECB last year when giving evidence to a parliamentary committee, claiming they could have done more to help the county look into Rafiq's allegations - says he found it "deeply disappointing" that the governing body did not "consider it appropriate to investigate the conduct of those at the ECB".

    "You will recall the ECB knew of Azeem's allegations before I did. They did nothing about them" he said.

    "They did not offer to help YCCC [Yorkshire] investigate despite the obvious difficulties it faced in doing so and when YCCC asked them to help they refused to do so. I believe this should be questioned.

    "I also believe that the ECB investigation itself has been poor".

    Hutton criticised "a lack of independence".

    "I have raised these concerns with the ECB and they have dismissed them" he said.

    "I strongly believe cricket would be better served by a wholly independent regulatory arm so not only would this ensure a fair and objective process everyone could trust it to be so."

    Hutton added: "I have always taken the view that Azeem is a victim and that cricket needs to improve its approach to diversity and inclusion.

    "For my part I apologised for the racism he suffered and for the mistakes that were made by YCCC in the handling of the investigation.

    "I am wholly supportive of [current chairman] Lord Patel and believe his changes are positive ones."

    The ECB conducted its own investigation into the saga, but it was overseen by a Regulatory Committee that has an independent chair and which includes several independent members.

    The charges will be heard by an independent panel of the Cricket Disciplinary Commission.

    The ECB has declined to name any individuals charged.

    It is understood ex-England captain Michael Vaughan and former Yorkshire players Matthew Hoggard, Tim Bresnan and Andrew Gale are among the individuals charged.

    BBC Sport has approached the individuals for comment.

    Former Yorkshire and England captain Vaughan revealed he had been accused of making racist comments to Rafiq and others players, but has repeatedly denied the claims.

    Vaughan told the BBC he never made racist comments while at the county. He admitted regret at some tweets he had sent in the past.

    The ECB has also faced criticism from three other previous Yorkshire chairmen - Colin Graves, Steve Denison and Robin Smith - who along with Hutton also told the Telegraph of their concerns at the handling of the process.

    BBC


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  52. #52
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    Getting properly cringe is this.

    Yorkshire are still in denial.

    Too many middle aged white men portraying themselves as the victims.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    Getting properly cringe is this.

    Yorkshire are still in denial.

    Too many middle aged white men portraying themselves as the victims.
    usual modus operandi of such types..but i think they are on the way out..english cricket has an existential issue in the long term if they dont sort things out..alot of asian kids will move towards other sports like my son who ditched cricket and is now into taekwondo..

  54. #54
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    The racism scandal at Yorkshire which Azeem Rafiq recently exposed has shown the lack of leadership both at the county itself and within the England and Wales Cricket Board, according to Sky Sports pundit and former England captain Michael Atherton.

    Rafiq's allegations of institutional racism while at Headingley first surfaced in September 2020, when the former Yorkshire player said in an interview with ESPNcricinfo that "deep-rooted" racism at the county had left him "close to committing suicide".

    Yorkshire swiftly launched an investigation, but it was not until August 2021 that they issued "profound apologies" to Rafiq after stating that their report into his allegations found that he was "the victim of inappropriate behaviour", which they described as "clearly unacceptable".

    However, the county did not accept his claim of institutional racism, stating that "many of the allegations were not upheld and for others, there was insufficient evidence for the panel to make a determination".

    Rafiq accused Yorkshire of "fudging" his claims and promised that he was "not going away" and after a further parliamentary inquiry and then a ECB investigation, it was only recently that the county and seven individuals were charged by the latter.

    Atherton, however, says this whole episode has been an example of how not to handle such affairs.

    "It has been a very troubling story over the last year, one which has almost brought this great club to its knees and may yet do so," Atherton told Sky Sports. "It is not over, there is much more to come and we will see how that pans out over the next few months.

    "I think we can say a couple of things without fear of contradiction - one is how badly Yorkshire have handled this situation from the moment Azeem Rafiq made his claims against the club, to the recent sacking of 15 or 16 employees here. It has been a test case really in how not to crisis manage, the club have handled it terribly.

    "The second thing to say is that for an issue of this importance, the lack of due process we have seen. So in response to Azeem Rafiq's claims, Yorkshire held an internal inquiry that seemed to be limited in scope, they seemed not to be able to force people to come and give evidence or testimony, they did not publish the results of those findings, and when Kamlesh Patel, the new chairman, came in, he said that inquiry was deeply flawed.

    James Cole says Tom Harrison's legacy as the chief executive of ECB has been affected by the organisation's handling of the Azeem Rafiq racism scandal.

    "Then we had the parliamentary hearings, which seemed to be prejudged by the MPs involved, and then recently we have had the ECB inquiry which, similar to the Yorkshire one, there is not much transparency there, for some good reasons as well.

    "But it is limited in scope, we do not know who they have talked to. We know plenty of people they have not talked to who have been central to this case and they have recently charged seven people and then those hearings will be held in September."

    Atherton hopes, though, that the crisis will end soon for Rafiq and all those involved in it.

    "It is going to go on and on and I am doubtful we will see some closure here. For all these people involved, both for Azeem Rafiq, who made the claims against the club, and those who he is making the claims against, I hope that there is some closure eventually," he added.

    However, the main lesson to be learned from the whole scandal is how the game itself requires stronger leadership, both at county and national level in the future, according to Atherton.

    "Really what this shows is the game needs better leadership, the leadership from Yorkshire and ECB has not been good enough.

    SKY


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    Adil Rashid: Yorkshire to block social media followers over 'offensive' messages

    Yorkshire has said it will block followers who post "offensive" social media messages, in response to comments about England bowler Adil Rashid.

    The club had earlier posted on Twitter to say Rashid was set to complete his pilgrimage to Mecca on Friday.

    Following some of the replies to the post, the club said it would remove offensive comments and block users.

    "Yorkshire CCC will not tolerate any comments which could be deemed offensive," it posted on Saturday.

    "For this reason we will be removing offensive comments and blocking those who post them from this page," it added.

    In the earlier tweet, Yorkshire wished Rashid and his family a safe journey and "a very warm Hajj Mubarak".

    BBC

  57. #57
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    Kunwar Bansil: I loved Yorkshire, but I was brutally axed. Why won’t they listen to me?

    The former physio fights back the tears as he tells Mike Atherton how his life was turned upside down


    Four lines, three sentences and not a word of thanks. That’s all it took in a “courtesy” email from Yorkshire to terminate the role of Kunwar Bansil, their lead physiotherapist for the previous eight years. Until that moment, when notice to Bansil’s employer was served — he was contracted through a third party — few British Asians had enjoyed such a close association with Yorkshire cricket.

    Bansil, 37, was born in Yorkshire to Indian parents. He rose from the junior pathways and club cricket to become the team’s lead physiotherapist in 2013. On December 3, 2021, after the racism allegations that engulfed the club, he was one of 16 people whose role was terminated in what he describes as an “unfair, disproportionate and completely immoral” way.

    Bansil has kept his counsel until now. He has not shied away from trying to tell his story to those in authority, but now says no one has listened. The opportunity to hear it was lost in the dismissal process and was not taken up by Lord Patel of Bradford, who had promised to listen to everyone when he took on the role as Yorkshire chairman, nor Julian Knight, who led the Department for Digital, Media Culture and Sport [DCMS] inquiry, and who, Bansil says, was dismissive on their one, brief Zoom call.

    “I’ve tried to speak to my local MP, to Julian Knight, but the responses have not been satisfactory at all, and I feel silenced in a debate that has caused me to uproot my entire life. Kamlesh Patel talked about transparency, fairness, about listening, engaging everyone and taking people on a journey, and then fired 16 people without consultation or communication. The MP leading the investigation into racism in cricket didn’t seem prepared to consider whether listening to the views of another minority from within the dressing room might be important. Why?”

    We are talking over coffee in a flat in West Bridgford, which he now rents to fulfil his new role as head of science and medicine at Nottinghamshire. This new location is evidence of the material effect on his life since he was informed that he was not to return to Yorkshire’s premises. That the emotional scars remain from seeing the lives of close colleagues upended (he describes these scars as “unbearable”) is clear early in our conversation, when he fights back the tears.

    It is a story that, until its ending, was a happy one. Like all young cricketers in Yorkshire, he dreamt of playing for the county. A variety of clubs — Goole Town, Caistor, Scunthorpe, Scarborough in the Yorkshire League, Spen Victoria in the Bradford League — and in the Quaid-e-Azam league in Yorkshire, as well as representative schoolboy honours with Humberside, with Lincolnshire’s development squad, with Leeds/Bradford UCCE and time in the Yorkshire pathway, preceded a realisation that he wasn’t good enough.

    A degree at Leeds University and an NHS posting, serving a diverse inner-city community, followed, after which he took up a post as a physiotherapist in rugby league with Hull FC. He joined Yorkshire as lead physiotherapist in 2013, and also worked in a consultancy capacity for the ECB with England’s white-ball team in India in 2017. In the first year of the Hundred, he worked with the Northern Superchargers. His background, and broad associations outside and within sport, give him, he feels, a unique perspective.

    Bansil recalls with pride his family’s humble background, arriving as they did from Punjab in India without speaking a word of English, and how they made their way in life, which allowed him, one of three siblings, to become the first in the family to go to university.

    “My parents came from Punjab, India, and settled in Beeston, Leeds, first of all and then in Goole in East Yorkshire, a predominantly white, working-class, area in the 1960s and 1970s. My parents have been abused, we’ve had our properties vandalised and windows smashed. I’ve heard the word P*** directed at me in an aggressive and offensive way. I have been involved in racist-fuelled confrontations. I know what racism is, what it feels like and what it smells like.” He does not look at the world through rose-tinted spectacles.

    Nevertheless, Bansil has nothing but warm words for his time within cricket. “Cricket has been my vehicle to countless opportunities and I have always felt included, valued and welcomed. Yorkshire cricket is a part of me and will always be a part of who I am. Representing Yorkshire, the most prestigious club in the world, and working at this level has been an immense source of pride for me and, more so probably, for my family given our very humble roots, and the struggles my parents endured when they arrived.

    “It’s been a huge honour and sense of pride to represent the white rose. I dedicated my mind, heart and soul to the way I worked there and it ended prematurely in the most unimaginably cold and immoral way. I can only speak from my experience, but as a British Asian person working in that environment for eight years, I’ve had nothing but fantastic experiences and opportunities and formed the most amazing bonds with people.

    “I feel fortunate to have supported and worked alongside such an amazingly talented, dedicated and humble group of players and support staff. I have worked at close quarters with some of the best players in the world — [Joe] Root, [Jonny] Bairstow, [Adil] Rashid — and many others who I have watched with great pleasure develop as cricketers and more importantly as people.

    “I am very proud of the fact that I’ve still got very strong relationships and still have the trust and respect of the players and staff there and my experiences with them were nothing short of amazing. I will be forever grateful to those I worked with at Yorkshire who have supported, mentored and nurtured me to the point where I’ve got the credentials and experience for this job at Nottingham.

    “Everyone at Nottingham has been fantastic. I’m really enjoying forging new relationships and playing my part in supporting the development of our players and team here at Trent Bridge. Everyone at the club has been very welcoming to me and I couldn’t have asked for anything more.”

    The allegations of racism at Yorkshire came out of the blue to him. “The allegations came as a shock and surprise given I was never aware of any racism or complaints of racism during my time at the club. The picture painted of Yorkshire was that if you are a person of colour you were made to feel unwelcome, that you’d be regularly bullied or discriminated against. That couldn’t be any further from my experience of the club.”

    The paralysis that gripped the club in the wake of the scandal prompted Bansil to sign, along with 14 others, a private and confidential letter to the Yorkshire board, which was eventually leaked to the media. “That collective letter to the board was an appeal for some clarity. We were in the dark in terms of the club’s strategy on how they were dealing with serious allegations. We were working through the entire season with that hanging over us. We felt that we were being branded as a racist institution and we wanted to know what the club was doing about that.

    “To this day we haven’t had a response to it. We were eventually told that Roger [Hutton, the former chairman] was going to come and meet with us in relation to the letter. On the day he was supposed to meet with us, he resigned. Kamlesh came into position and you know what happened next.” Everyone who signed that letter, among others, was dismissed.

    “I did meet with Paul Hudson, the acting chief executive at the time, the day before we were dismissed because news had started to filter that something might be happening. He denied all knowledge of anything, although from his reaction, and the fact he signed all the dismissal letters, he clearly knew. Like the others I had a personal relationship with him so I can only imagine the pressure he must have been put under at the time.

    “I had met Kamlesh with others before our dismissal and had a pretty positive meeting and his message was that he wanted to continue to engage with us and find out as much as he could. We have had no further communication.”

    In response to the leaking of the letter to the media, Patel said at the time: “It is important to acknowledge that our poor handling of this issue includes communications with staff. Part of our duty of care towards them will be to talk to all at the club about their experiences to understand internal perspectives.” Despite this, Bansil says that at no stage has Patel asked him about his experiences as a British Asian at the club.

    Yorkshire have responded to this by saying: “We are aware of Mr Bansil’s view that there was no problem with racism at the Yorkshire County Cricket Club. He publicised his views, as is well known, in a joint letter with 15 others to the club’s board at the time.”

    Patel was unavailable for comment.

    “My time at Yorkshire just ended abruptly without any communication or consultation. We were completely and utterly blindsided by the decision. And it’s not just me; it’s all my colleagues. I think I speak on behalf of them all when I say that we dedicated our whole energy and completely loved what we were doing, and the demands of professional cricket meant we lived as a family effectively,” Bansil says.

    “We worked in a very collaborative, integrated way, priding ourselves on providing top-class support to players that was always commended by the ECB in their annual audit process. Many professional sports teams aspire to provide that type of support but can rarely deliver a truly collaborative, holistic and authentic approach to player care and development in the way the staff collectively did at Yorkshire.”

    “You make sacrifices together and to think it was taken away in such a cold way. I was there almost nine years, but others had close to a 40-year association with the club. Unless you have been through that you don’t quite understand the total brutality of how the situation has been handled. Kamlesh is from a social care and mental health background. I wonder if he ever took into consideration the mental health or wellbeing of 16 people and their families?”

    “People’s professional careers were cut short; reputations were damaged beyond repair. Did the club properly consider players who were left with no coaching or proper medical or psychological support, arguably when they needed it more than ever? It still really bothers me, and I’d love a conversation with the people who made that decision to understand why it needed to be done.”

    On the day of the mass dismissals, Julian Knight, the chairman of the DCMS committee that was charged with investigating the allegations of racism at Yorkshire, and which had held its televised inquiry two weeks before, released a statement on the DCMS website: “We welcome the announcement by Yorkshire on the departure of its entire coaching staff. The experience of Azeem Rafiq at YCCC demanded no less.”

    Six days later, Bansil reached out to his local MP, Alex Sobel, to see whether a meeting with Knight could be arranged. “I felt like it was an unfair situation and it seemed like it was prejudged. I wanted to present my experiences of Yorkshire as a British Asian person. He [Knight] supported the dismissal of the entire staff and I guess I wanted to know on the balance of which evidence he was making that judgment.”

    It took Sobel three months to arrange a meeting between Bansil and Knight, and then only on Zoom. “Knight was late to the meeting and, despite publicly welcoming the, “departure of its entire coaching staff”, was apparently unaware that I was one of those whose departure from Yorkshire he praised. It seemed to me he was unwilling to listen or have a conversation and became, I thought, aggressive and dismissive and concluded the meeting by leaving the call abruptly before I had a fair chance to say what I wanted to say.

    I would welcome another conversation with him but he hasn’t followed up since.”

    A spokesperson for Knight rejected this characterisation of the meeting: “Mr Bansil did not try to talk about his experiences as a British Asian in the Yorkshire dressing room but instead spoke only about his treatment by the club in the context of his dismissal . . . At no stage was Julian ‘aggressive or dismissive’ as suggested and, alongside Mr Sobel, Julian completely refutes these allegations.”

    In my view, this whole episode has been marked by problems with due process. The initial Yorkshire inquiry was subsequently criticised as “flawed” by Patel; the DCMS hearing was limited in scope; the current ECB enquiry has charged one person without conducting an interview with him, and the dismissal of 16 people happened without any consultation. It is a situation that Bansil thinks will create more discord and resentment, not less.

    “I really worry about the way these decisions have eroded trust and respect and that they are far more damaging to Yorkshire, cricket and society than they are in uniting communities. There is no surprise that people will be afraid to speak openly. Opinions have become polarised and racism has become a binary debate. That is a far too simplistic approach to clearly a very complex issue.

    “Language is imperfect, both written and verbal, and perceptions can be different from one person to the next — and no doubt others will interpret differently what I am trying to say here. Context is hugely important, but is currently being lost. My worry is how people can speak openly. Anyone trying to defend themselves against allegations of racism is labelled as racist. That creates fear and at worst fuels resentment. I feel that will affect genuine race relations and I worry how it will manifest itself in society, not just cricket.

    “We need to keep having these conversations because that is where understanding will come; that is where the magic is going to happen, and how we will start moving away from these extreme positions and start coming back to the middle and having sensible conversations.

    “I do believe that as society and within cricket we need to continue to work on all forms of discrimination, but to plant the seed that if you are minority then you won’t have opportunity in this country or that somehow you will be treated unfairly can be extremely harmful. If my family held that view when they arrived in the 1960s then, frankly, I wouldn’t have moved forward and I’m certain I wouldn’t have ended up where I am now.

    “I’m worried that it might discourage those from my background trying to get into the game, and it’s an amazing game that has given me nothing but opportunities. I hope that if British Asian boys and girls read this article they will recognise that cricket is an environment where you can maximise your opportunities and fulfil your dreams whether that be playing, coaching or other support staff roles. I have made lifelong friendships within cricket and enjoyed rich relationships and conversations about my background and culture with my friends and colleagues in the game.”

    Bansil maintains he has received scant hearing, which is why he reached out to this newspaper. “I have a view that may help to bring some balance, common sense and decency to this debate,” he says.

    “I could have kept my head down like many other people but personally that did not sit right with me. It has lost all sense of control and balance and I feel I have a moral duty to contribute to it in a more positive and constructive way.”

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/5...f88b5cf749bbff


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