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Azeem Rafiq: Yorkshire suspended from hosting international matches for ‘unacceptable’ handling of racism case | Cricket News

Former Yorkshire participant Azeem Rafiq made a quantity of allegations of racism regarding his time on the county; seven of his claims have been upheld by an unbiased panel however Yorkshire stated no disciplinary motion could be taken; Gary Ballance admitted he used a racial slur in direction of Rafiq

Last Updated: 06/11/21 8:53am


Watch the full interview with ECB chief executive Tom Harrison as he explains the decision to suspend Yorkshire from hosting international or major matches over their handling of Azeem Rafiq's racism claims

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Watch the total interview with ECB chief govt Tom Harrison as he explains the choice to droop Yorkshire from hosting international or main matches over their handling of Azeem Rafiq’s racism claims

Watch the total interview with ECB chief govt Tom Harrison as he explains the choice to droop Yorkshire from hosting international or main matches over their handling of Azeem Rafiq’s racism claims

Yorkshire have been suspended from hosting international or main matches by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) over their “wholly unacceptable” handling of Azeem Rafiq’s racism claims.

Gary Ballance has additionally been indefinitely suspended from England choice by the ECB after he admitted to utilizing a racial slur in direction of Rafiq throughout their time collectively on the county.

The selections have been made by the ECB board following a gathering on Thursday.

Rafiq made 43 allegations regarding his time at Yorkshire, of which seven have been upheld by an unbiased panel, which added there was “no query” he was subjected to racial harassment and bullying.

Rafiq made 43 allegations regarding his two spells as a player at Yorkshire

Rafiq made 43 allegations concerning his two spells as a participant at Yorkshire

Yorkshire accepted the findings of the panel and apologised to Rafiq. However, they introduced final month that, following an inside investigation, no staff, gamers or executives would face disciplinary motion.

The handling of the county’s investigation into Rafiq’s claims has been closely criticised inside the sport and by politicians, with a bunch of sponsors ending their partnerships with the membership this week.

Yorkshire chairman Roger Hutton has been known as to seem earlier than the choose committee of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to present proof on the matter, with Rafiq additionally invited to the session, which is about to be held on November 16.

Michael Atherton and Nasser Hussain discuss the fallout from the Rafiq investigation following allegations of racism at Yorkshire County Cricket Club

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Michael Atherton and Nasser Hussain focus on the fallout from the Rafiq investigation following allegations of racism at Yorkshire County Cricket Club

Michael Atherton and Nasser Hussain focus on the fallout from the Rafiq investigation following allegations of racism at Yorkshire County Cricket Club

Following its assembly on Thursday, the ECB stated: “It is obvious to the board that YCCC’s handling of the problems raised by Azeem Rafiq is wholly unacceptable and is inflicting critical harm to the status of the sport. 

“The ECB discover this matter abhorrent and in opposition to the spirit of cricket and its values. There is not any place for racism or any kind of discrimination in cricket and the place it’s discovered, swift motion should be taken.

“This matter should be handled robustly if the game is to show its dedication to really being a sport for everybody.”

The ECB stated its board had reached a quantity of agreements at Thursday’s assembly, together with that “there are critical questions concerning the governance and administration of YCCC.”

Sky Sports News reporter James Cole explains how the ECB's decision to suspend Yorkshire from hosting international or major matches will hit them hard financially

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Sky Sports News reporter James Cole explains how the ECB’s determination to droop Yorkshire from hosting international or main matches will hit them arduous financially

Sky Sports News reporter James Cole explains how the ECB’s determination to droop Yorkshire from hosting international or main matches will hit them arduous financially

“The membership’s failure in relation to actions and responses to their very own report characterize a big breach of its obligations to the sport,” the ECB added.

The governing physique stated Yorkshire might be suspended from hosting international or main matches “till it has clearly demonstrated that it may meet the requirements anticipated of an international venue, ECB member and first-class county.”

In 2022, Yorkshire are resulting from maintain the third of three Tests in opposition to New Zealand, beginning on June 23, in addition to a one-day international in opposition to South Africa on July 24.

The ECB additionally stated its govt has been requested to fee a assessment of Yorkshire’s governance, “to think about whether or not the present preparations are match for objective”.

It added that “the regulatory processes already underway into the allegations introduced by Azeem Rafiq will in the end be decided by an unbiased tribunal (The Cricket Disciplinary Committee).”

The governing physique additionally stated that sanctions levelled at Yorkshire following their investigation could possibly be monetary and will have an effect on the long run allocation of main fixtures.

Gary Ballance has 23 Test caps for England, but was last selected in 2017

Gary Ballance has 23 Test caps for England, however was final chosen in 2017

In response, DCMS chair Julian Knight MP stated: “The ECB’s motion in taking international cricket away from Yorkshire ought to act as a brief, sharp shock to convey the membership to its senses.

“Like the remaining of us, I think about the members of Yorkshire County Cricket Club might be questioning why the board remains to be in place.

“As for Mr Ballance, I’m selecting at the moment to not touch upon the specifics of the case. However, it could have been fully unacceptable if they’d left him eligible for choice for the England cricket group.”

Ballance’s suspension comes after he launched an announcement on Wednesday by which he accepted he was accountable for some of the offensive and derogatory phrases that Rafiq revealed he was subjected to throughout his time at Headingley.

The 31-year-old referenced his “extremely shut relationship” with Rafiq throughout their time collectively on the membership, saying each males “stated issues privately to one another which weren’t acceptable” however made it clear he had regret for his half of these exchanges.

The panel decided that these phrases have been delivered “within the spirit of pleasant banter” – a conclusion that has induced a wave of condemnation from outstanding politicians and marketing campaign teams and kicked off an exodus of Yorkshire’s industrial sponsors.

Just over an hour after Ballance’s assertion was launched, Rafiq posted on Twitter: “Funny how issues change from full denial to I accepted every thing over a 14 month interval?”

Nike ends relationship with Yorkshire

On Thursday, Nike grew to become the most recent firm to finish its relationship with Yorkshire over the membership’s handling of Rafiq’s allegations.

“Nike will not be the package provider for Yorkshire CCC. We stand firmly in opposition to racism and discrimination of any form,” learn an announcement.

Yorkshire had already misplaced a quantity of vital sponsors on Wednesday, together with publishing firm Emerald Group – which has had the naming rights for Headingley since 2017, in addition to Tetley’s and Yorkshire Tea.

Harrogate Spring Water introduced on Thursday that it could even be ending its partnership with the county.

Meanwhile, international companies firm Sodexo are reviewing their £100m, 15-year take care of Yorkshire that began in 2019 and covers catering and occasions at Headingley.

A Sodexo spokesperson stated: “Sodexo has a long-standing dedication to equity and fairness and is devoted to creating a various and inclusive office.

“As the hospitality accomplice for Headingley Stadium, we now have written to the membership this week on this very critical matter. We are eager to grasp the steps they are going to be taking.”

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