Yorkshire cricket racism hearing begins with Azeem Rafiq to give evidence
A public hearing into cricket's Yorkshire racism scandal finally started in London this morning, more than two years after Azeem Rafiq first made allegations against the club.
Rafiq went public with accusations of racial harassment and bullying in late 2020. The sport was rocked, with Rafiq delivering harrowing testimony to a Parliamentary committee in November 2021, while Yorkshire lost several major sponsors and were, for a time, stripped of the right to host international cricket.
Last June, the club, along with seven individuals, were charged by the ECB over allegations of racism and, after a series of delays, the case is being heard by the Cricket Discipline Commission this week. Yorkshire will not take part in the hearing, having already accepted four amended charges, while former England batter Gary Ballance admitted his charge of using racially discriminatory language.
Of the six remaining individuals, only former England captain Michael Vaughan is set to appear in front of the CDC. Vaughan strongly denies the allegation that, ahead of a 2009 match, he told a group of Yorkshire's Asian players, including Rafiq and England spinner Adil Rashid, that there are "too many of you lot, we need to do something about it".
Rafiq and Rashid are due to give evidence, the latter via video link from Bangladesh, where he is in action for England.
The other five accused — Tim Bresnan, John Blain, Matthew Hoggard, Andrew Gale and Rich Pyrah — all have previous Yorkshire connections, but have refused to engage with the process and will have charges against them heard in their absence.