We've to make sure racism doesn't happen again further down the line: Joe Root

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England Test skipper Joe Root (Photo/ England Cricket Twitter)
England Test skipper Joe Root (Photo/ England Cricket Twitter)

Headingley [UK], August 24 (ANI): England skipper Joe Root has said everyone has to find ways of creating more opportunities to make the sport "more diverse" following Azeem Rafiq's allegations of racism at Yorkshire.

Rafiq, the Root's former teammate at the club, had accused the County side of racism following which Yorkshire released a statement regarding the investigation into the matter.

In September 2020, the Yorkshire County Cricket Club launched a full investigation into allegations of racism and now in a release has stated that 'Azeem was the victim of inappropriate behaviour.'

"As a former team-mate and friend, it's hard to see Azeem hurting as he is. More than anything, it just shows that there is a lot of work we have to do in the game," ESPNcricinfo quoted Root as saying.

"It's a societal issue in my opinion. We have seen it in other sports; we have seen it in other areas. As a sport, we have got to keep trying to find ways of making sure this isn't a conversation that keeps happening.

"We have got to find ways of creating more opportunities, making our game more diverse and educating better," he added.

The England skipper said one needs to make sure that racism doesn't happen again "further down the line".

"I don't think that just comes from players and administrators: it's from everyone in the game. There has got to be a want and a will to do that. It is something we have to prioritise as a sport and make sure this isn't something that happens again further down the line," said Root.

Root also informed that England will observe a "moment of unity" and sport anti-discrimination t-shirts ahead of the third Test against India, which gets underway on Wednesday.

"I think it is really important we have the moment of unity. We have to keep showing the sport is for everyone and that we are desperate to make everyone feel welcome to it. It's such a brilliant sport and should be open to everyone," said Root.

"We have to do more, I get that. But, as a team, it is a big focus for us to make the game for everyone and to make it as welcoming as we can. I know we keep talking about it but I am desperate to do something about it. Hopefully, in time, you can see that come into action," he added.

The first Test ended in a draw but India staged an incredible comeback to take the second game by 151 runs at the Lord's Cricket Ground. Both sides will now lock horns in the third Test, beginning Wednesday at Headingley, Leeds. (ANI)

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