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Azeem Rafiq: What now for cricket? How the game learns from racism at Yorkshire | Cricket Information

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The Cricketer’s George Dobell believes that Azeem Rafiq’s testimony will encourage others with related experiences to talk out

The Cricketer’s George Dobell believes that Azeem Rafiq’s testimony will encourage others with related experiences to talk out

Azeem Rafiq first made allegations of racism and bullying in opposition to Yorkshire again in August 2020, and on Monday his testimony was heard at a parliamentary listening to.

The present and former chair of Yorkshire additionally confronted questions from MPs, so too members of the England and Wales Cricket Board.

Rafiq has since spoken to Sky Sports News, and says he expects the “floodgates” to open on racism in cricket after the DCMS listening to.

Azeem Rafiq says his fight against racism is more important than any runs, or wickets taken whilst playing cricket

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Azeem Rafiq says his battle in opposition to racism is extra necessary than any runs, or wickets taken while taking part in cricket

Azeem Rafiq says his battle in opposition to racism is extra necessary than any runs, or wickets taken while taking part in cricket

George Dobell helped Rafiq inform his story from the beginning of the scandal, and The Cricketer journalist spoke to Sky Sports activities Information in regards to the former participant’s journey from a chip store to Westminster, which has featured threats alongside the best way, and the place cricket goes from right here…

  • Rafiq ‘had everybody spellbound’ throughout testimony
  • Rafiq was ‘provided £105,000 to close up and threatened as just lately as Friday’
  • The game ‘will hear extra disturbing testimonies’ in coming weeks
  • Gamers ‘haven’t any religion’ with present system
  • Racism hotline wanted after ‘overwhelming’ variety of gamers contacted Dobell
  • Rafiq ‘relaxed, cheerful, relieved… however wants time to decompress’

How has the Rafiq listening to been acquired?

“I assumed he did terrifically nicely [on Tuesday]. It was an incredible factor that the man who now works in a fish and chip store in Barnsley pressured a parliamentary inquiry. That is unbelievable.

“He spoke with nice integrity and energy, had everybody spellbound. He is shaken the sport into acknowledging we’ve a major problem with inclusion and race, and that we should do higher.

“Personally, I am very pleased with him.”

Azeem Rafiq says he expects many others to come forward and speak out about their experiences of racism in the game

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Azeem Rafiq says he expects many others to come back ahead and communicate out about their experiences of racism within the recreation

Azeem Rafiq says he expects many others to come back ahead and communicate out about their experiences of racism within the recreation

How necessary has this revelation and the listening to been?

“It has been very important. There have been so many events when anybody else would have given up and accepted their story was by no means going to be instructed.

“He was provided £105,000 I feel it was to close up. He is had quite a few threats as just lately as Friday, when somebody got here into his fish and chip store and threatened to detonate a bomb.

“He was instructed when he went to the union that he did not have a case, Yorkshire ignored him time and time once more, the ECB initially ignored him – and he simply did not surrender. His resilience is unbelievable.

“The one message I might need folks to remove: don’t assume his experiences are distinctive. They’re so removed from it. The distinction is, he pressured his to be heard, and by doing that he has inspired lots of people to come back ahead.

DCMS Committee Chair Julian Knight MP believes the lack of British South Asian players at Yorkshire is an indication of institutional racism at the club

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DCMS Committee Chair Julian Knight MP believes the dearth of British South Asian gamers at Yorkshire is a sign of institutional racism on the membership

DCMS Committee Chair Julian Knight MP believes the dearth of British South Asian gamers at Yorkshire is a sign of institutional racism on the membership

“Within the subsequent few weeks, it is going to be grim, our recreation goes to listen to quite a lot of very disturbing testimony, and we have to do this, we’ve to acknowledge we’ve not been adequate and need to be higher.”

How typical are Rafiq’s experiences?

“It is exhausting to say. Principally, I am a middle-class, middle-aged white fella. I’ve by no means suffered racism, if something I have been a beneficiary. Let’s be trustworthy, I did not realise the extent of the issue till I began speaking to Azeem 18 months or so in the past.

“From there a number of different folks have began speaking to me, and in the previous few weeks it has been genuinely overwhelming. I have been ill-equipped to take care of the extent of trauma I am receiving on these cellphone calls.

“And why are they phoning me? Partly as a result of they have completely no religion within the system. The PCA (Skilled Cricketers’ Affiliation) can put out any statements they like, however they’ve misplaced non-white gamers’ religion. They’ve misplaced it.”

Sky Sports activities Information has contacted PCA for remark

Former Yorkshire chairman Roger Hutton says he's disappointed that former chief executive Mark Arthur and director of cricket Martyn Moxon chose not to appear at the DCMS hearing into Azeem Rafiq's allegations of racism

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Former Yorkshire chairman Roger Hutton says he is disillusioned that former chief govt Mark Arthur and director of cricket Martyn Moxon selected to not seem on the DCMS listening to into Azeem Rafiq’s allegations of racism

Former Yorkshire chairman Roger Hutton says he is disillusioned that former chief govt Mark Arthur and director of cricket Martyn Moxon selected to not seem on the DCMS listening to into Azeem Rafiq’s allegations of racism

How assured are you Rafiq’s story will carry actual change?

“We now have to verify it does. It does not fall to him, however to all of us. All of us have a duty. One of the highly effective moments of his testimony yesterday was when he was speaking about Joe Root with an excessive amount of fondness.

“He mainly stated Root is a very good man, has quite a lot of respect for him, however he reckons there have been occasions Root turned a deaf ear to issues.

“I might say Root is an emblem of the sport. I feel quite a lot of us, if we’re actually trustworthy, might need pretended we did not hear one thing that is uncomfortable, or not seen that there have been no non-white umpires for years – none since 1992. That the variety of cricketers of Asian heritage taking part in at leisure degree is 35 per cent, the quantity at skilled is just below three per cent. We should always have seen this.

Azeem Rafiq says Joe Root 'never engaged in racist language', but may not have remembered witnessing others' racist comments. (Warning: video contains offensive language and content that viewers may find upsetting)

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Azeem Rafiq says Joe Root ‘by no means engaged in racist language’, however could not have remembered witnessing others’ racist feedback. (Warning: video incorporates offensive language and content material that viewers could discover upsetting)

Azeem Rafiq says Joe Root ‘by no means engaged in racist language’, however could not have remembered witnessing others’ racist feedback. (Warning: video incorporates offensive language and content material that viewers could discover upsetting)

“We now have to verify Azeem’s sacrifice does not go to waste. He’ll be okay, I had dinner with him final night time and he appeared relaxed, cheerful, relieved. He’ll go on and do nice issues.”

Does Rafiq really feel like a weight has been lifted?

“Precisely that. He appeared vastly relieved. Hopefully he can return to his regular life. It has taken rather a lot out of him, and his household.

“I personally assume he has rather a lot to supply cricket, however he wants time to decompress. He is not simply mourning the tip of his profession, he is mourning a toddler. He is bought rather a lot to take care of.”

Azeem Rafiq says the racism he experienced at Yorkshire made him feel 'isolated' and 'humiliated'. (Warning: video contains offensive language and content that viewers may find upsetting)

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Azeem Rafiq says the racism he skilled at Yorkshire made him really feel ‘remoted’ and ‘humiliated’. (Warning: video incorporates offensive language and content material that viewers could discover upsetting)

Azeem Rafiq says the racism he skilled at Yorkshire made him really feel ‘remoted’ and ‘humiliated’. (Warning: video incorporates offensive language and content material that viewers could discover upsetting)

Is Lord Patel the person to steer change at Yorkshire?

“He has been within the place every week and performed a blinder. He is achieved all the things proper. I feel the extent of change wanted there’s terrific.

“We heard yesterday Roger Hutton the previous chair wished to sack the chief govt, the director of cricket, and head of HR, however I truly assume he wished to sack fairly a number of execs and the teaching staff.

“They’ve most likely bought to go, there’s quite a lot of grim proof in that report, so there is a lengthy approach to go at Yorkshire.

The new chair of Yorkshire county cricket club, Lord Kamlesh Patel, has apologised to Azeem Rafiq for the club's handling of his racism case and praised him for speaking out about his experiences at the club.

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The brand new chair of Yorkshire county cricket membership, Lord Kamlesh Patel, has apologised to Azeem Rafiq for the membership’s dealing with of his racism case and praised him for talking out about his experiences on the membership.

The brand new chair of Yorkshire county cricket membership, Lord Kamlesh Patel, has apologised to Azeem Rafiq for the membership’s dealing with of his racism case and praised him for talking out about his experiences on the membership.

“Kamlesh Patel has began rather well, he is stated all the proper issues, placing phrases into actions. There are grounds for optimism. Nevertheless grim the following few weeks are going to be for cricket, it is an opportunity to wash up our act.”

What must occur to alter the method over racism stories?

“There must be a hotline. It’s a ridiculous state of affairs the place persons are blissful to cellphone journalists to get it achieved. That is high-quality, it is a part of the position of the media I feel, however not one of the methods work.

“We have all bought a duty. I wrote yesterday an instance about Rob Key at Kent. He heard one thing inappropriate, got here down on it exhausting, made certain the tradition remained good and the racist sentiment by no means had any probability to ferment. The alternative occurred at Yorkshire, too many individuals turned a blind eye.”

Would you want to listen to from names Rafiq talked about?

“I’ve spoken to some of them. One very well-known participant phoned him the day we did our first piece in August 2020. It was nicely earlier than speak of a report, he wasn’t making an attempt to save lots of his pores and skin, he actually wasn’t. He phoned and he apologised, and I feel he had a second of readability, the place he realised that his behaviour was indefensible. He gave a fulsome apology. I inspired him to come back out and say ‘I am ashamed and I decide to making an attempt to be higher’. I am not decide and jury, I do not see profit in banning folks, I might moderately see folks be taught and be higher.

DCMS Committee Chair Julian Knight MP believes the governance in the game must be reformed, following Azeem Rafiq's emotional testimony about his experiences of racism at Yorkshire

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DCMS Committee Chair Julian Knight MP believes the governance within the recreation have to be reformed, following Azeem Rafiq’s emotional testimony about his experiences of racism at Yorkshire

DCMS Committee Chair Julian Knight MP believes the governance within the recreation have to be reformed, following Azeem Rafiq’s emotional testimony about his experiences of racism at Yorkshire

“Apologies are necessary issues. I am listening to some denials, unsure I see quite a lot of future in denials at this stage as a result of there are witnesses. We rehabilitate murderers and muggers, we will rehabilitate racists in the event that they’re contrite.”

Is there a category downside with cricket?

“There are issues all through the sport. They’re class associated, quite a lot of cricket golf equipment need not have outreach programmes as a result of they’re full of individuals from middle-class communities. I am not saying they’re racist, they only do not care so long as folks come, pays, and might play.

“The sport hasn’t felt a necessity to succeed in out. Each morally and financially it actually does.

“I assumed it was attention-grabbing that issues began transferring at Yorkshire when the sponsors began pulling out. It is cash that makes them hear. So it is no good interesting to folks to do the proper issues morally, typically they need to be led by the cash.”

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