Azeem Rafiq racism hearing delayed due to appeals against public sessions

This month’s hearing into Azeem Rafiq’s allegations of racism at Yorkshire has been delayed after appeals against the decision to make the sessions public.

Cricket Discipline Commission proceedings were due to begin on November 28 but have been stalled due a dispute over conditions and are now not expected to take place until the new year.

CDC hearings usually hear evidence behind closed doors subsequently offering written rulings, but the independent body broke with convention when it accepted a request from Rafiq to lift the condition of privacy.

The former spin bowler, 31, told the PA news agency last week “We need to have these conversations for transparency and for closure. Let the world see it, I’ve got nothing to hide”.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan, who is among those contesting charges, has written in the Daily Telegraph that he is happy to make his defence in public but some of those who have been called to appear have raised objections and proceedings have been put on ice while their appeals are considered.

A statement from the England and Wales Cricket Board said: “Appeals have been filed by a number of the Respondents in relation to the decisions of the CDC panel following the Preliminary Issues hearing last month.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan has said he is happy for the hearing to be open.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan has said he is happy for the hearing to be open (Mike Egerton/PA)

“The appeals now need to be heard and therefore the full CDC hearing into the ECB’s charges against Yorkshire CCC and a number of individuals will no longer start on 28 November. That hearing is now expected to take place in early 2023.”

Rafiq himself has previously indicated he may reconsider his own participation in the process if there was no public element, while former Yorkshire head coach Andrew Gale and former chair Roger Hutton have both made it clear they will not participate under any circumstances due to a lack of faith in the procedure.

The former England Under-19 bowler’s explosive testimony rocked the sport last year when he gave an emotional appearance in front of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee.

He will sit before the committee again on December 13, where he will once again share his views with MPs under the protection of parliamentary privilege.