MPs urge Yorkshire to publish report into Azeem Rafiq’s racism allegations

MPs have called on Yorkshire to immediately publish an independent report into allegations of racism made against the county by their former player Azeem Rafiq.

Yorkshire apologised to Rafiq three weeks ago after accepting he was the “victim of inappropriate behaviour” at a club where he had two spells between 2008 and 2018, revealing several of his claims were upheld by an enquiry.

While Yorkshire aimed to “publish as much of the report and recommendations as we are able…in the coming weeks”, the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee has called on the county to hasten the process.

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DCMS Committee chair Julian Knight said: “We are very surprised that this report has not been published by the Yorkshire County Cricket Club, given the seriousness of the allegations of racism which span more than a decade and the fact that it has taken almost three years to reach this point.

“Given that YCCC said in its statement that several allegations made against the club had been upheld, and that Azeem Rafiq had been a victim of inappropriate behaviour, it is crucial that the process, the report and its full findings are made public and open to scrutiny. He deserves no less.”

The PA news agency has contacted Yorkshire for a response to Knight’s remarks.

Rafiq initially spoke out 13 months ago, referencing alleged specific instances of non-white players being called “p***s” and “elephant washers” as well as being told to “go back to where you came from”.

The following month, Yorkshire asked an independent law firm to probe Rafiq’s claims of institutional racism, with a number of witnesses including former players, coaching staff and management volunteering to be interviewed in an “extensive” investigation.

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It has been completed and a panel of experts – with experience within the fields of HR, sport, governance and employment law – returned a final report believed to be in excess of 100 pages to the club last month together with a set of recommendations.

In a statement on August 19, Yorkshire stopped short of any admission of the central claim of racism but delivered “profound apologies” to Rafiq, who accused the club of “fudging” the issue.

He said on Twitter last month: “Inappropriate behaviour’ are you sure about that @YorkshireCCC?? You carry on playing with your words & fudging this best way possible. ITS NOT GOING AWAY!!”

In a separate process in June, Yorkshire and Rafiq failed to resolve their dispute in an employment tribunal case.

Rafiq filed a legal claim under the Equality Act in December, alleging direct discrimination and harassment on the grounds of race, as well as victimisation and detriment as a result of his efforts to address racism at the club.

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